Swing States Virginia and Florida Lead The Nation In Disenfranchisement

Virginia and Florida, high-population swing states that could decide this presidential election, have the harshest disenfranchisement laws and bar more former and current felons from voting than any other state, a problem illustrated in a graphic from the Prison Policy Initiative. As the Brennan Center for Justice explains in its report out this week, “Disenfranchisement after criminal conviction remains the single most significant barrier to voting in the United States … These voting bans are exceptional among democratic nations. The United States is one of only two countries that disenfranchise large numbers of people for indefinite periods after they have completed their time in prison.” These laws also disproportionately impact African-American men, 13 percent of whom have lost the right to vote nationwide.