Felony Disenfranchisement

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U.N. Committee Urges U.S. to Reform Disenfranchisement Laws

[Courtesy of The Sentencing Project]

Dear Friends,

The United Nations' Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today called on the U.S. to automatically restore voting rights to people with felony convictions upon completion of their criminal sentence, and raised concern that such policies have a disparate racial and ethnic impact and may be in violation of international law.

"The Committee remains concerned about the disparate impact that existing felon disenfranchisement laws have on a large number of persons belonging to racial, ethnic and national minorities, in particular African-American persons, who are disproportionately represented at every stage of the criminal justice system," concluded the Committee in their recommendations to the U.S. Government.

The widespread practice of denying voting rights to people with felony convictions in the United States disenfranchises 5.3 million citizens. Eleven states restrict voting by people even after they have completed their sentence, including prison, probation and parole, and many are barred for life. Approximately 1.5 million people are disenfranchised post-sentence. No other democratic nation disenfranchises people for life even after completion of sentence, and many impose no restrictions at all on people with felony convictions.

These recommendations come on the heels of new research conducted by The Sentencing Project that finds 1 in 50 African-American women cannot vote, an increase of nearly 14% since 2000. This rate of disenfranchisement is nearly four times the rate for non-African-American women.Overall, an estimated 792,200 women are ineligible to vote as a result of U.S. felony disenfranchisement laws.

Currently, an estimated 1.4 million African-American men, 13%, are locked out of the ballot box, a rate seven times the national average. Given current rates of incarceration, three in ten of the next generation of black men can expect to be disenfranchised at some point in their lifetime.

To view a copy of the Committee's recommendations, please visit: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/docs/co/CERD-C-USA-CO-6.pdf.

To learn more about U.S. felony disenfranchisement policy and its impact, see these reports by The Sentencing Project: Felony Disenfranchisement Rates for Women and Felony Disenfranchisement Laws in the United States.

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The Sentencing Project - Disenfranchisement: News/Updates 3/7/08

Missisippi: Secretary of State Moves to Disenfranchise More Voters A voter restriction legislation package that has already passed the state Senate and is soon to arrive at the House adds even more prohibitions to the state's felony voting laws, according to the Meridian Star. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann released a statement boasting that the state isn't the first to debate removing all felons from the voter rolls. He said "of the 50,000 criminals which are incarcerated or fall under the supervision of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, only 12,000 are prohibited from voting." Defending his proposal, he stated: "It is time for the felony voting requirement to be brought into the 21st century." State Sen. Joey Fillingane said banning all citizens with felony offenses "will make the law easier to understand." He added that individuals could regain the right to vote two years after a sentence is served - but there would still be exceptions for certain offenses. "Right now, a lot of people sitting in jail think they have lost the right to vote, but really they haven't," Fillingane was quoted as saying in the Hattiesburg American. "This would make it where everyone would understand. It would be an incentive to finish the sentence, wait for a period of time and get the right to vote back." Kentucky: Governor Removes Some Disenfranchisement Barriers Newly installed Governor Steve Beshear has removed some disenfranchisement barriers, making it somewhat easier for those who have served their sentences to vote, the Kentucky Herald Leader reported. Formerly incarcerated individuals will no longer have to pay a $2 fee, write an essay or get recommendations to regain the right to vote. Citizens, however, still have to get their civil rights restored by the governor. Kentucky and Virginia are the only two states where all formerly incarcerated individuals are banned from voting unless the governor restores their civil rights. A constitutional amendment would be needed to change that. "This is not about being tough on crime. This is about treating people fairly and about welcoming back people trying to put their lives together again and become good citizens," said Beshear. The move restores the former policy that existed under Beshear's predecessor, Ernie Fletcher. "This disenfranchisement makes no sense," Beshear said. "It makes no sense because it dilutes the energy of democracy, which functions only if all classes and categories of people have a voice, not just the privileged, powerful people." Currently, Kentucky denies the right to about 129,000 citizens, including one in four African Americans, the governor's press release stated. For additional coverage, see Pol Watchers and the Kentucky Post. International: U.N. Body Recommends U.S. Restore Voting Rights The United Nations' Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today called on the U.S. to automatically restore voting rights to people with felony convictions upon completion of their criminal sentence, and raised concern that such policies have a disparate racial and ethnic impact and may be in violation of international law. "The Committee remains concerned about the disparate impact that existing felon disenfranchisement laws have on a large number of persons belonging to racial, ethnic and national minorities, in particular African-American persons, who are disproportionately represented at every stage of the criminal justice system," concluded the Committee in their recommendations to the U.S. Government. To view a copy of the Committee's recommendations, please visit: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/docs/co/CERD-C-USA-CO-6.pdf. National: Rate of Disenfranchisement Higher for African-American Women The Sentencing Project has just released an analysis of the rate of disenfranchisement of women in the United States. Key findings of the report include: At yearend 2004, there were an estimated 792,200 women ineligible to vote as a result of felony disenfranchisement laws - a 17 percent increase since 2000. Further, the analysis finds that "given the disproportionate rate at which African-American women are under supervision in the criminal justice system, their rate of disenfranchisement is considerably higher than for non-African-American women." National: ACLU Aims to Help with 'Toolkit' The ACLU has released "Right to Vote: A Campaign to End Felony Disfranchisement," a felon enfranchisement tool kit to aid organizations in voter education efforts. Sample bills, public education resources and opinion editorials are featured in the 72-page resource manual. The document also features recent successful campaigns resulting in legislation and policy reform, how-to tips, and what to lobby for depending on each state's current laws. National: U.S. Needs to Restore "Democratic Expression" On OpEdNews.com, Chris Lugo, Progressive Candidate for US Senate wrote his views in support of reforming felony disenfranchisement laws nationally. Pointing to last year's JFA report, "Unlocking America," and the recent Pew report which found that 1 in 100 American are incarcerated, Lugo points out that America's priorities are misguided and reform must be implemented. He writes: "Limiting the right to vote only further punishes men and women who are working hard to become members of society in good standing, it affects the outcome of national and local elections and is an undue burden on the poor and minorities. It also has a deeper cost that cannot be measured. Restoring the right to vote doesn't just affect our basic democratic expression, it also has profound effects on that individual's sense of self and their sense of identity. It impacts on the sense of fairness and justice of the entire society." - - - - - - Help The Sentencing Project continue to bring you news and updates on disenfranchisement! Make a contribution today. Contact Information -- e-mail: [email protected], web: http://www.sentencingproject.org
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The Sentencing Project -- Disenfranchisement: News/Updates

Tennessee: ACLU Challenges State's Disenfranchising "Poll Tax" Law Challenging the state's law that disenfranchises formerly incarcerated individuals who have outstanding legal financial obligations, restitution or child support fees, the American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Tennessee filed a federal lawsuit this week. The ACLU charges the 2006 law is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause and is synonymous with a poll tax. "Reports show that, nationally, over 50 percent of criminal defendants are indigent at the time of sentencing. Therefore, requiring a person with a criminal conviction to pay a fee before restoring their right to vote is nothing more than a modern day poll tax," stated Nancy Abudu, staff counsel with the ACLU Voting Rights Project in a press release. "This law locks citizens out of the democratic process when it comes to issues of great concern to them. The result is that the political power of poor people is further diminished and the collateral consequences of poverty multiply." The suit was filed on behalf of Terence Johnson, Jim Harris and Alexander Friedman, three citizens who have completed their sentence including parole, and probation. Though Johnson and Harris have custody of their children, they owe child support, according to the ACLU. Friedman was denied restoration of his voting rights in 2006 because the state claimed he owed more than $1,000 in restitution. "My dream is to have the opportunity to become a fully productive citizen again, regardless of my economic status. And I have the right to participate in the electoral process to bring about change to the issues that concern me most in my community," Johnson was quoted as saying in a press release. "I've served my time, I am a taxpaying citizen and I have custody of my daughter. It is wrong for the state to punish me and other people while we get our lives back on track." For additional coverage, see the Nashville Post. - - - - - - Help The Sentencing Project continue to bring you news and updates on disenfranchisement! Make a contribution today. Contact Information -- E-mail: [email protected], web: http://www.sentencingproject.org
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TN
United States

Disenfranchisement: News/Updates 2/22/08

[Courtesy of The Sentencing Project] Tennessee: Ex-felon Disenfranchisement Laws Need to be Repealed, Panel Says A panel at Middle Tennessee State University advocated the repeal of state laws that ban approximately 98,000 formerly incarcerated residents from voting. The panel, which included a defense attorney, a formerly incarcerated resident and Michele Flynn, a voting rights advocate with the American Civil Liberties Union, commented on how Tennessee law appears to be discriminatory and unfair. About 40 percent of formerly incarcerated individuals in Tennessee are African American, while blacks represent only 17 percent of the state's total population, the Daily News Journal reported. Currently, state law bans those convicted of a felony with a maximum sentence of more than a year, with the possibility of reinstatement. Residents convicted of murder, some sexual offenses, treason and voting fraud permanently lose their right to vote. New York: State Needs to 'Fast-track' Voter Education New York State needs to "set the record straight on voting rights" according to an editorial published by El Diario. Thousands of formerly incarcerated citizens in the state are misinformed about their voting rights, which are restored once they have served their maximum prison sentence or been released from parole. According to a 2006 survey by the Brennan Center for Justice, DEMOS and the Legal Action Center, some citizens on probation were illegally denied the right to vote. "Advocates have made several smart recommendations-including that the state's Board of Elections launch a public awareness campaign and that the legislature restore the right to vote for all citizens on release from prison. These recommendations should be fast tracked, and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo should put BOE offices on notice for any attempts to lock out voters," the editorial states. Kentucky: Students on Board to Restore Rights University of Kentucky students gathered this week on campus to support Rep. Jesse Crenshaw's (D- Lexington) efforts to pass House Bill 70, a bill that would restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated people like former UK basketball player Tayna Fogle. Though the House of Representatives passed the bill last year, it failed to make it through the Senate, the Kentucky Kernel reported. The bill will again be brought up in the House this year for reconsideration. A rally and lobby day will be held in Frankfort on February 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wisconsin: Restoration Leads to Integration University of Wisconsin-Madison student Andrew Wagner wrote an opinion editorial in the student publication, The Badger-Herald, on the need for the state to change its disenfranchisement laws. Wagner supports Rep. Joe Parisi's (D-Madison) recently introduced bill that would restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated individuals who have completed their prison sentence and are on probation or parole. "Give released felons a stake in society rather than pushing them to the margins," he stated. "While these felons are still under sentence when they are on probation or parole, the reintegration process should start as early as possible once they leave prison." National: Denying the Pursuit of Happiness Senator Russ Feingold (WI) and 1996 Republican candidate for the vice presidency Jack Kemp co-wrote an opinion editorial published in the Baltimore Sun on their efforts to introduce the federal Democracy Restoration Act allowing those on probation or parole, or individuals who have served their sentences, to be able to vote in federal elections. "Even as voting restoration grows, we have a long way to go. For a nation that depends on the participation of its citizens, it is fundamentally un-American to deny the vote to people who are living and working as law-abiding citizens," they wrote. "Furthermore, the more doors we close on people trying to rejoin society, the more likely it is we will drive them back to the behaviors we want them to leave behind. Later this year, Americans will determine the next president of the United States. But millions remain disenfranchised because of a dangerous anachronism: civil death." An opinion editorial featured on Helium.com holds the position that individuals with felony convictions should have all rights restored in order to reduce recidivism and boost the nation's economy. The writer states: "If we are going to continue to deny ex-felons their rights even after they have served their term then we need to take the word-"ex" out of ex-felon. If we are going to continue to deny their right to the pursuit of happiness then we can just call them all felons and convict them to a life of despair." A contributor to the State Hornet newspaper, a student publication of the California State University, Sacramento, wrote an opinion editorial on his experience as a formerly incarcerated person gaining back his voting rights - and how others like him in other states are not so lucky. "Most are led to believe that their right to vote has been taken away, or the process to get it back is too extensive," Galen Kusic wrote. "This must change. If you are a citizen in this country, ex-con or not, the government should grant you the right to vote. Period." - - - - - - Help The Sentencing Project continue to bring you news and updates on disenfranchisement! Make a contribution today. Contact Information: e-mail: [email protected], web: http://www.sentencingproject.org
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The Sentencing Project: Disenfranchisement News & Updates - 2/8/08

Kentucky: House Committee Approves Restoration Bill By a 7-1 vote, a House committee approved a bill that would restore voting rights to former offenders who have completed their sentence. The measure, however, has yet to attract wide support in the Republican-held Senate, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. If it passes both the House and the Senate, the bill would still require ratification by voters. National: Disenfranchisement's Effects, Roots In a personal account of disenfranchisement and the confusion and assumptions the public makes about who's eligible to vote, writer Amy Goodman explains how disenfranchisement affects the political system in the Arizona Daily Star. Goodman recounts a conversation with a friend who says he cannot vote due to a felony record and how she later reported back to him that he was misinformed and can, in fact, vote in his state. "We are constantly pushing for legislative change around the country. But public education is absolutely key," Ryan King, The Sentencing Project's policy analyst, was quoted as saying. "There are so many different laws that people simply don't know when their right to vote has been restored. That includes the personnel who work in state governments giving out the wrong information." Giving a historical overview of disenfranchisement's antebellum roots, Claremont Portside Magazine published an op-ed in support of re-enfranchisement. According to the article, in 1861, 19 of 34 states barred those with felonies from voting. "Then came the Civil War and the 14th and 15th Amendments. The latter outlawed disenfranchisement based of 'race, color, or creed,' but the former recognized a state's ability to withdraw that right for "participation in a rebellion, or other crimes," the article states. Noting that disenfranchisement silences poor and minority voters, the op-ed suggests that the nation incorporate ex-offenders in the process of self-government. Alabama: Struggle Part of State's History The Rev. Kenneth Glasgow, Executive Director of The Ordinary People's Society (TOPS) wrote an op-ed for the Birmingham News on his efforts last month to register jail inmates in Alabama. He mentions that most of the inmates he came into contact with were not aware of their voter eligibility and in the article Glasgow connected the need to be politically active to Dr. Martin Luther King's dream for equality and justice. "After visiting jails and prisons throughout the state and registering thousands of voters, I can tell you these people are not being notified of their voting rights, nor is there a system in place that allows them to exercise those rights," said Rev. Glasgow. "The struggle for equality under the law - especially for voting rights - is a part of our state's history." For additional coverage, see the Drug Policy Alliance Web Site. California: Voting Behind Bars - Jail Inmates Eligible While Awaiting Trial An Associated Press article describes the public's misperception of voting in jail while awaiting trial. According to the article published in the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco jail inmate "Derek Jackson interrupted a shower to accept the sealed ballot a lawyer pushed through the bars of the jail cell he shares with 11 other men, hoping to make a difference in the society with which he has often been at odds." Outreach efforts like those of Prisoner Legal Services educate jail inmates and formerly incarcerated individuals so they don't mistakenly assume their records bar them for life. Furthermore, its lawyers regularly hand out absentee ballots and registration applications to those awaiting trial. Though other jurisdictions across the country have said otherwise, San Francisco Sheriff Mike Hennessey believes he is responsible for ensuring that inmates understand their rights and have access to register and voting. "We who run jails are enforcement officers, and one of the roles of government is to make voting accessible to those who are eligible, so it is merely a law enforcement role as far as I'm concerned," he said. - - - - - - Help The Sentencing Project continue to bring you news and updates on disenfranchisement! Make a contribution today. Contact Information -- e-mail: [email protected], web: http://www.sentencingproject.org.
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United States

The Sentencing Project: Disenfranchisement News & Updates - 1/31/08

Florida: "I VOTED" Lisa Burford cast her vote in Florida's primary election this week - the first time the Palm Beach County resident has been able to do so in almost 20 years, the Palm Beach Post reported. The mother of four was one of the many who pleaded her case to Gov. Charlie Crist last year on behalf of formerly incarcerated individuals, like herself, hoping to regain their civil rights. When Burford was 24, she spent 30 days in jail after being convicted of pilfering money from a bank where she worked. As a result of the state Clemency Board restoring civil rights for individuals having committed nonviolent offenses, Burford was able to vote. With pride, she sent a short email to the governor that simply read: "I VOTED." - - - - - - Help The Sentencing Project continue to bring you news and updates on disenfranchisement! Make a contribution today. Contact Information -- Email: [email protected], Web: http://www.sentencingproject.org
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United States

The Sentencing Project: Disenfranchisement News & Updates - 1/25/08

Florida: "Slow Going" Registration Efforts May Keep Hundreds of Thousands of Eligible Voters from Polls As the election year heats up, so do the emotions of hundreds of thousands of Florida citizens who expected to register to vote after the state's clemency board last year moved to make voting easier for non-violent offenders. "It's a slow process. It's slow going," said Muslima Lewis, an attorney with the ACLU and director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. "Individuals who were initially very encouraged in April of last year are now seeing that it's taking them a bit longer and with this being an election year people are getting more and more impatient." As a result of the efforts of Gov. Charlie Crist - whose election platform included rights restoration of formerly incarcerated individuals - about 45,000 individuals' rights have been restored since April. There remain, however, approximately 900,000 individuals who continue to wait to find out if their rights have been restored. In fact, 130,000 of those citizens are still waiting for their cases to be reviewed and have been told the process will take several months to a year, according to NPR's "All Things Considered." "That's very problematic," Lewis continued. "We are concerned about whether folks will actually be getting on the rolls in time to vote in November." The ACLU and other organizations continue to sponsor seminars to educate and register formerly incarcerated individuals. Alabama: "Let My People Vote" The Rev. Kenneth Glasgow this week visited several jails in Alabama to register inmates by today's voter registration deadline. During his "Let my people vote" registration campaign, which began on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, Glasgow brought voter re-instatement and registration forms for inmates to fill out, the Dothan Eagle reported. "Today, there are four times the amount of our people behind bars than the time Martin Luther King led the civil rights movement here in Alabama, but voter registration goes beyond just that. There's no better day to address this struggle than on his birthday," Rev. Glasgow, coordinator for the Alabama Alliance to Restore the Vote said. The state's primary is Feb. 5. Last year, Glasgow's registration efforts collected more than 10,000 applications. Prior to 2006, formerly incarcerated individuals who committed crimes of 'moral turpitude' were banned from voting. In 2006 Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Robert Vance Jr. ordered voter registrars in Alabama counties to register former offenders unless legislation was signed stating otherwise and until 'moral turpitude' was defined. Additional coverage by the Montgomery Advertiser reported that county jail inmates are allowed to vote absentee, but it's up to the inmates to fill out the application. For more coverage, see the Enterprise Ledger. National: Presidential Candidates Should be Pressed by Reporters on Voting Rights In the Columbia Journalism Review's new series "Eight Questions Reporters Should Ask," Todd Gitlin explains the need for his column by saying: "My goal with this series is to highlight questions that, to my mind and to the best of my research, the press has not asked (or at least not asked often or insistently enough)." As a result Gitlin feels journalists should ask of presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama the following question: Nearly five million Americans-some 2% of the American electorate-cannot vote today because they have been convicted of felonies. In this regard the US is unusual among the world's democracies, which think that the rights of citizenship should be restored once a felon has served his or her sentence. Do you agree that former felons should regain the right to vote? - - - - - - Help The Sentencing Project continue to bring you news and updates on disenfranchisement! Make a contribution today. Contact Information - Email: [email protected], Web: http://www.sentencingproject.org
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Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Day of Action at the Florida Capital

[Courtesy ACLU of Florida] The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) is organizing a two-part mobilization in Tallahassee in support of restoring the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of people with past felony convictions in Florida who have completed their sentences. Your presence in Tallahassee is critical to furthering our continuing progress toward comprehensive clemency reform and our goal of removing the voting ban from Florida’s Constitution. On February 28, we seek to mobilize 40-75 citizens to Tallahassee for the February 28th Board of Executive Clemency meeting. On April 1, FRRC plans to mobilize 500-1000 individuals for a rally and related events. We Need a Commitment from You & Your Organization! The success of this effort depends on commitments from you and your organization. We ask that you and your organization let us know how many people you or your organization can mobilize for either or both of the events on February 28 and April 1. We especially need your help mobilizing individuals for the April 1 rally. Everyone who supports ending Florida’s civil rights ban is welcome and encouraged to attend. We extend a special invitation to those who are directly impacted by Florida’s civil rights ban. If you, or someone you know, have been affected by Florida’s voting ban, come to Tallahassee and make your voices heard! Make the decision today to support this historic event and let us know how many people you can bring to the event. For additional information please call La Rhonda Odom at 786-363-2718. The time is always right to do what is right. ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. La Rhonda Odom Racial Justice Project Associate ACLU of Florida 4500 Biscayne Blvd. Suite 340 Miami, FL 33137 (786) 363-2718 (phone) (786) 363-1020 (fax)
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Tallahassee, FL
United States

The Sentencing Project: Disenfranchisement News & Updates - 1/3/08

Virginia: If at First Legislation Doesn't Succeed, Try, Try, Try, Try Again Sen. Yvonne Miller (D-Norfolk) introduced a constitutional amendment last month aimed at restoring voting rights to those convicted of nonviolent offenses, the Virginian-Pilot reported. "I introduce this every year because at some point somebody, it may not be me, will get it through," she said. "It's an issue of fairness because there are large numbers of people who have paid their debt to society and should be able to get their rights back." Since 2000, legislation has been introduced yet failed to pass. According to Virginia law, people with felony convictions are permanently barred from voting, but can apply for restoration after completing a sentence. Restoration applications can be made through a local Circuit Court or the Secretary of the Commonwealth - both of which ultimately lead to the governor's final decision. The Pilot featured a breakdown of the number of citizens whose rights were restored by Virginia governors. As of December 28, 2007, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine had restored 1,144 citizens' right to vote. Kentucky: Recurring Resistance to Re-enfranchising A Courier-Journal editorial states that disenfranchising citizens with criminal records "mocks the word 'justice.'" Nonetheless, proposals for reform are likely to encounter resistance from certain lawmakers and the Senate Judiciary Committee. "Some harbor racial motives for not wanting ex-felons to vote, but they don't have to admit that," the editorial states. "They can just talk about how undeserving criminals are. Others oppose restoration of voting rights on the assumption that, just because so many criminals come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, they likely will vote Democratic, but, publicly, they can posture against giving criminals this kind of 'break.'" Despite last year's failed attempt at restoration, legislators and others continue to push the constitutional amendment sponsored by Democratic Reps. Darryl Owens of Louisville and Jesse Crenshaw of Lexington that would restore voting rights to those convicted of many felonies upon completing their sentence, another Courier- Journal article stated. "When you finish your sentence, you should be free to re-enter society," Marc Mauer, Executive Director of The Sentencing Project was quoted as saying. "But with laws like these, we still treat people as second-class citizens. If we want people to become law-abiding citizens, we need to get them engaged in constructive institutions in their community." For more coverage, see the Lexington Herald-Leader. Florida: State Needs Updated Database of Eligible Voters The third time was a charm for Michael Hargrett, 51, when it came to successfully registering to vote in Florida. Twice, he attempted to register to vote and was turned away; he was told his name remained on the state's felon list despite the fact that on one occasion he displayed a certificate of rights restoration. Only when he contacted the ACLU was he able to successfully register, the News- Press reported. "If I hadn't been involved and knew I had this right ... I would have just walked away thinking I can't vote," Hargrett said. As a result, civil rights activists last month sent letters to the state demanding it share its civil rights restoration database with counties, which currently do not have access to that information. They are also requesting that Florida's county election supervisors become proactive in helping qualified felons to register to vote. - - - - - - Help The Sentencing Project continue to bring you news and updates on disenfranchisement! Make a contribution today. Contact Information -- Email: [email protected], Web: http://www.sentencingproject.org
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United States

The Sentencing Project: Disenfranchisement News & Updates - 12/7/07

Florida: Public Interest Group Announces Web site, Hotline to Register Formerly Incarcerated Citizens People for the American Way Foundation (PFAW) scheduled a press conference this week to announce a large-scale effort to get thousands of formerly incarcerated citizens to the polls. Its announcement comes a day after Chief District Judge Robert Hinkle dismissed a voting rights suit filed by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and other congressional Democrats alleging that the Democratic National Committee violated the rights of millions of Florida Democrats by stripping the state of its convention delegates, a punishment for moving the presidential primary from March to Jan. 29, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. As part of PFAW's plans, a Web site and hotline will be set up to help register formerly incarcerated individuals. Nevada: Debate Ensues on Proving Restoration Eligibility with Affidavits Next week, a legislative subcommittee is scheduled to review voting rules recently adopted by the Nevada secretary of state's office that allow formerly incarcerated residents to submit sworn affidavits confirming the restoration of their voting rights. Brenda Erdoes, chief legal counsel for legislators, however, said a personal affidavit isn't enough and an individual must produce an official document from a court or agency showing rights restoration, the Las Vegas Sun reported. Matt Griffin, elections chief for Secretary of State Ross Miller, disagrees and feels an affidavit is sufficient proof. - - - - - - Help The Sentencing Project continue to bring you news and updates on disenfranchisement! Make a contribution today. Contact Information - Email: [email protected], Web: http://www.sentencingproject.org
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