1 in 13 Blacks Can’t Vote Due to Felony Convictions
Several Republican ran states, such as Florida, have begun massive voter purges. These purges are being fought by the Justice Department, but less is said about the methodical and disproportionate process in which blacks are disenfranchised because many have felony convictions. According to The Times Picayune:
One in every 40 adults – and one in every 13 African Americans – can’t vote because of felony convictions, according to a report released Thursday by The Sentencing Project.
In three states – Florida, Kentucky and Virginia – one in five African Americans can’t vote because of their criminal record.
So not only are African Americans targeted in voter purges, but they’re also disproportionately impacted by laws which don’t allow convicted felons to vote. However some states, like Louisiana, allow ex-offenders to reclaim their voting rights, but many ex-offenders are unaware of their rights under the system:
The big difference is that Louisiana, unlike those states with far higher rates of disenfranchisement, permits felons to reclaim their vote once they complete their term of incarceration, probation and parole. All an ex-felon has to do to register or remove the flag from an earlier registration, is to produce for the voter registrar’s office the papers indicating that they have completed their sentence, probation or parole.
“We don’t’ have to jump through any hoops to get the franchise back, you just have to be clear of supervision to be in the mix,” said Henderson.
It is still disconcerting that so many African Americans cannot vote because of their ex-offender status. And it’s indicative of how the penal system destroys lives in innumerable ways.
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