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Disenfranchisement Laws

Disenfranchisement laws exclude millions of Americans from participating in our democracy. The Brennan Center tracks these laws state by state.

Overview

Millions of Amer­ic­ans are excluded from our demo­cratic process on the basis of crim­inal disen­fran­chise­ment laws. These laws strip voting rights from people with past crim­inal convic­tions, and they vary widely between states. Twenty seven states bar community members from voting, simply on the basis of convic­tions in their past. Navig­at­ing this patch­work of state laws can be exceed­ingly diffi­cult, espe­cially because elec­tion offi­cials often misun­der­stand their own states’ laws.

In the map below, click on any state for a summary of its current laws on crim­inal disen­fran­chise­ment. States have a range of policies as to whether citizens with pending legal finan­cial oblig­a­tions relat­ing to their convic­tions are eligible to vote, and also as to whether, and under what circum­stances, misde­mean­ors are disen­fran­chising. These policies are not reflec­ted in this map.

Criminal Disenfranchisement Laws Across the United States

Key:

Permanent disenfranchisement for all people with felony convictions

Permanent disenfranchisement for at least some people with criminal convictions

Voting rights restored upon completion of sentence, including prison, parole, and probation

Voting rights restored automatically after release from prison and discharge from parole (people on probation may vote)

Voting rights restored automatically after release from prison

No disenfranchisement for people with criminal convictions

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