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Felony disenfranchisement occurs when a convicted felon’s voting rights are taken away after they have been convicted for a crime. The practice of taking voting rights from convicted felons has been used for hundreds of years and can be traced back to the Greek and Roman Empires. The modern practice of disenfranchising felons has come under scrutiny due to its inherent conflict with the ideal of universal suffrage, its disproportionate impact on minority populations, and it use being seen as a form of cruel and unusual punishment. Each state controls its own disenfranchisement laws, so there is no set standard as to what crimes trigger disenfranchisement, how long the right can be taken from an individual, or whether the right has to be restored through a special process.
This guide provides a variety of sources on the topic of the restoration of voting rights to felons, both academic and non-academic in nature. Be sure, especially when reading non-academic publications, to vet your sources before relying on them for your own research.
The sources covered by this LibGuide have been divided into these easy to use tabs:
Books and Materials