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Study Reports That 8 Percent Of Black People Can’t Vote Because Of Felony Convictions

You can’t rock the vote if you’re on lockdown……or if you used to be.

One of every 13 African-Americans of voting age is disenfranchised because of state laws that prevent current or ex-felons from voting, a rate more than four times greater than that of non-African Americans, according to a new report by the Sentencing Project.

The Sentencing Project, a non-partisan group that advocates for alternatives to incarceration, used data from 2010 to estimate that 5.85 million voting-age Americans will not be allowed to cast ballots because of provisions that bar voting by people who have been convicted of felonies. Nearly 8 percent of blacks are disenfranchised by these laws, compared to about 2 percent of Americans overall. In Florida, Virginia, and Kentucky, all of which bar not only people currently serving prison time for crimes but also ex-felons from voting, more than one in five blacks are disenfranchised.

The group estimates more than half of the people who can’t vote have already served time and are not currently in prison. Under their laws, eleven states can permanently deny voting rights to at least some felons who have served their time and are no longer in prison or on probation.

Hmmmm. We’re a little torn on this one, let’s discuss.

Do you think these laws are too harsh in denying previously convicted citizens their right to vote, even if they aren’t presently incarcerated and/or haven’t been for a while? Or does the burden of responsibility fall on us to stay out of trouble in the first place?

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