Whenever it is time to vote, whether it be for the nationwide Presidential elections or smaller state or county elections, there arises the question of whether it is morally acceptable for felons to be banned from voting in most cases. Here is a breakdown of some voting-related felony stats and whether they may inadvertently affect you or your loved ones.
As of the year 2016, the most current year for which information has been publicly available, there are approximately 6 million people who are blocked from voting because of a felony conviction on their record. Of course, this number has sharply skyrocketed mainly due to the fact that the prison population has exploded in recent decades. As a matter of comparison, in the year 1976, there were just over one and a half million people who suffered from voter disenfranchisement due to felony convictions.
Of the entire United States voting population, nearly one in 40 voters are unable to vote due to the fact they have been convicted of a felony. Many of these people have long since served their time and have gone back to being productive members of society.
These numbers can vary widely on a state to state basis due to the fact there states often carry different voter regulations and requirements. For instance, there are six states in which the disenfranchised voting population is well over 7%. These states are Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia.
One state in particular, Florida, actually contains the highest concentration of disenfranchised voters. It is estimated that 27% of all those who cannot vote due to felony convictions reside in Florida and almost of the nationwide population od post-convicted felons reside in the state.
On top of the previously mentioned statistics, 1 of every 13 African-American citizens in the United States are barred from voting due to a felony conviction. This rate is nearly 4 times as high as those who are felons but who are not African-American. The resulting percentages of resulting disenfranchisement between the two groups equal to approximately 7.4 percent for African-Americans to 1.8 percent for non-African-American peoples.
It is easy to see that there may be work needed to be done when it comes to fully including everyone in the voting process. This is a question that is often asked but so far there has been little progress to solve the dilemma.