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Felony Convictions Prevent 4.6 Million People From Voting: Report

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According to new research from The Sentencing Project, roughly 2 percent of the voting age population in the United States, 4.6 million people, will be barred from voting in 2022 due to state laws banning people with felony convictions from doing so, reports NPR.

State-level bans, which exist in 48 states, with 11 states denying voting rights to people even after they finish their full sentences, including parole and probation, have a disproportionate impact on Black and Latino voters, according to the report, entitled “Locked Out.”.

Disenfranchisement rates range from 0.15 percent in Massachusetts to more than 8 percent in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, while Vermont, Maine, and Washington, D.C. remain the sole jurisdictions that actually allow people in prison to vote.

Florida has the highest number of disenfranchised citizens, with more than 1.1 million people currently prohibited from casting a ballot, despite a 2018 ballot referendum that promised to restore their voting rights.

Gov. Ron DeSantis trumpeted a recent crackdown on election fraud in his campaign to retain the governorship, bujt many of the cases involved former felons who mistakenly thought they had the right to vote under Florida’s recent felony enfranchisement rfules.

At least one of the 20 cases targeted as examples of fraudulent voting, has since been thrown out.

Nationwide, one in 19 African Americans of voting age are disenfranchised, a rate 3.5 times that of non-African Americans, and at least 506,000 Latinx Americans (1.7 percent of the voting eligible population) are also disenfranchised as this year’s midterms approach.

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