That is approximately 1 in 44 adults who are excluded from the vote because of a current or past conviction of a crime. Even if half of the US states have changed their laws and guidelines in the last 25 years to expand voting rights, the project says.
“The foundation of any democracy is the right to vote,” said the project’s executive director Amy Fettig in a statement. “Laws banning people from voting have for decades destabilized communities and families in America by denying them a vote in determining their futures.”
The Sentencing Project study found that about three-quarters of people denied voting live in their communities either have completed their sentences or are on parole or parole.
And whoever is allowed to vote has a lot to do with the people in power.
“It is clear that differences in criminal justice are linked to differences in political representation,”
The Sentencing Project is a nonprofit that conducts research to promote reform in condemnation policy, eradicate unfair racial differences and practices, and advocate alternatives to incarceration.
What these populations look like
After the project:
About 1 in 16 African American adults are disenfranchised. The rate is roughly 3.7 times higher than that of non-African Americans of voting age.
Disenfranchisement rates for African Americans also vary by state depending on the project.
“In seven states – Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming – more than one in seven African Americans is disenfranchised, twice the national average for African Americans,” it said.
More than 560,000 Latinx Americans are excluded from voting. That’s a conservative estimate, the project says, as ethnicities are unevenly reported among the prison population. At least 34 states disenfranchised Latinx adults more than the general population, the project said.
Over 1.2 million women are disenfranchised, said the project.
More people locked in southern states
Crime disenfranchisement rates are highest in the southern states, where electoral restrictions were introduced during the Jim Crow era aimed at limiting the political power of black men.
In Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, 1 in 13 people – more than 8% of the adult population – are disenfranchised.
In Florida, more than 1.1 million people are excluded from voting. The state remains the “leader of the nation’s disenfranchisement in absolute terms,” says the project.
A November 2018 constitutional amendment passed by voters in Florida allowed most people who had completed “all prison terms” to vote with a few exceptions.
Instead, he wrote: “It promotes the full rehabilitation of returning citizens and ensures full satisfaction of the penalty imposed for the crimes that have forfeited the right to vote.”
CNN’s Rebekah Riess and Fredreka Schouten contributed to this report.