It’s estimated that over six million Americans have been barred from voting because they’ve been convicted of a felony.
The laws around voting rights vary greatly by state. In New York, people with felony convictions can automatically vote after incarceration, while they’re on probation or after completing parole. In Iowa, anyone convicted of a felony must get approval from the governor after their sentence in order to vote. And in Florida, there’s momentum to overturn a law that requires those with felony charges to settle fines and restitution before they can vote.
Here’s more about the stakes of the case in Florida, from ABC News:
While there are over 21 million Floridians — over 7% of them are former felons — there are only 13 million registered voters in Florida, according to recent data. If all 1.4 million eligible former felons registered to vote, they would make up roughly 10% of the voting population in the state. This could affect the outcome of the 2020 presidential election since Florida is famously a swing state — the 2000 presidential election was decided by Florida, where George W. Bush won by fewer than 600 votes.
We talk about the uphill battle for restoring these voting rights, and what impact the movement may have on the presidential election.