Let’s do the numbers

Disenfranchised by design

Estimated number of Americans who have currently or permanently lost their voting rights because of a felony conviction: 5.3 million

Of those, number that are ex-offenders who have completed their sentences: 2.1 million

Number of black men who are disenfranchised as a result of a felony conviction: 1.4 million

Percentage of black men that represents: 13

Number of times by which black men’s disenfranchisement rate exceeds the national average: 7

In states that disenfranchise ex-offenders, percent of black men who may permanently lose their right to vote: 40 

Number of states that permit even inmates to vote: 2*

Number of states that deny voting rights to all convicted felons for life: 2**

Number of Virginians permanently disenfranchised as of 2004 due to felony convictions: 377,000

Of those disenfranchised Virginians, percent who are black: 55

Number of nonviolent felons who’ve had their voting rights restored by Virginia’s two recent Democratic governors: 5,990

Number of Alabama inmates who filled out voter registration forms over the course of two days last month before the effort was halted by the Republican prison commissioner: 80
Percent of South Carolina elections officials who answered incorrectly when surveyed last month about ex-felons’ voting rights: 48

Estimated number of ex-felons who were unable to vote in Florida during the 2004 election: 960,000

George Bush’s winning margin over John Kerry in Florida that year: 380,978

* Maine and Vermont

** Kentucky and Virginia
All sources on file with the Institute for Southern Studies. For more information, e-mail sue@southernstudies.org.

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