State approaches to felon disenfranchisement vary tremendously. In Maine and Vermont, felons never lose their right to vote, even while they are incarcerated. In Florida, Iowa and Virginia, felons and ex-felons permanently lose their right to vote. Virginia and Florida have supplementary programs which facilitate gubernatorial pardons. The remaining states each have their own approaches to the issue.
NCSL – Felon Voting Rights
- In 38 states and the District of Columbia, most ex-felons automatically gain the right to vote upon the completion of their sentence.
- In some states, ex-felons must wait for a certain period of time after the completion of their sentence before rights can be restored.
- In some states, an ex-felon must apply to have voting rights restored.
Inmates are counted in the U.S. census which is used for redistricting, yet when they are released from prison they are denied the right to vote. We believe that once you have finished your prison sentence you have paid your debt to society and must be allowed to register to vote the day you released.
- Amend the Texas constitution to allow felons to vote upon immediate completion of their time in prison (similar to 14 states)
- Amend the Texas constitution to allow felons to vote upon completion of prison and parole (similar to 4 states)
- Amend the Texas constitution to allow prisoners to vote (similar to Maine and Vermont)
Code – Election Code
Chapter 11 – Qualification and Requirements for Voting
Section 11.002 – Qualified Voter