Study Finds 5.85 Million Disenfranchised Voters

Nearly six million voting-age adults are blocked from the ballot box this year because of a felony charge, according to a new study (PDF) by the Sentencing Project. That’s a record number of disenfranchised voters — one out of every 40 adults. The study finds that particular communities have more felony records, and thus fewer chances to cast their votes. For example, “1 of every 13 African Americans of voting age is disenfranchised, a rate more than four times greater than non-African Americans.” Additionally, some states have huge portions of adults that are unable to vote: “In six states – Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia – more than 7 percent of the adult population cannot vote.” At least one of these states, Florida, is trying to make it even harder for felons to regain their voting rights, a move that would further increase the number of disenfranchised voters.