Interesting Facts about Voting Restoration

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Here are some interesting facts about voting restoration that you can share with friends and colleagues to explain why you support restoring the right to vote.

  • In 2011, of the 63,000 Minnesotans who were unable to vote due to a past criminal conviction, only about 16,000 were behind bars in prison or jail. In other words, 75% of those who have been denied the right to vote under Minnesota law are living in the community, working to earn a wage and support their families and pay taxes like all of us.
  • Nearly 6 million American citizens are unable vote because of a past criminal conviction. As many as 4.4 million of these citizens live, work, and raise families in our communities. But because of a conviction in their past they are still denied this fundamental democratic right. These laws, deeply rooted in our troubled racial history, have a disproportionate impact on minorities. Across the country, 13 percent of African-American men have lost their right to vote, which is seven times the national average.
  • Since 1974, the percentage of voting age Minnesotans disenfranchised as a result of a criminal conviction has increased over 400%.
  • 13 States  already allow people to vote upon release – Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Utah.
  • Attorney General Eric Holder is urging states to repeal bans on felons’ voting.
  • Kentucky Senator Rand Paul supports restoring voting rights for convicted felons who have completed their sentences in Kentucky.
  • The right to vote forms the core of American democracy. A strong, vibrant democracy requires the broadest possible base of voter participation.
  • Felony disenfranchisement laws are firmly rooted in the Jim Crow era and were intended to bar minorities from voting. The intended effects of these laws continue today: nationwide 2 million African Americans are disenfranchised.
  •  Allowing people to vote after release from prison encourages participation in civil life and helps rebuild ties to the community that motivate law-abiding behavior.
  • Restoring voting rights to people out of prison eliminates the opportunity for erroneous purges of eligible citizens form the voting rolls and relieves confusion among election officials and the public about who is eligible to vote.

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