Felons And The Voting Rights Act

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Felons are people who have been convicted of a felony. Felony is a crime, typically one involving violence, regarded as more serious than a misdemeanor, and usually punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or by death. In Maine and Vermont, felons never lose their right to vote, even while they are incarcerated. Vermont’s 1793 Constitution stipulates that residents can lose their right to vote only if convicted of voter fraud. In Florida, Lowa and Virginia, felons and ex-felons permanently lose their right to vote. Eleven states restrict voting even after a person has completed their prison sentence and finished probation or parole. Twenty states require completion of parole and probation before voting is allowed, and fourteen states allow felons to vote after they leave prison. Florida and Texas each disenfranchise more than 600,000 people. In 1789, Kentucky became the first U.S. state to ban convicted criminals from voting. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that felon disenfranchisement is a violation of the Voting Rights Act in her May 4, 2006 dissenting opinion in Hayden v. Pataki. Ex-felons should be able to vote because they served their time and now they are out. Hayden v. Pataki is a legal challenge to New York State 's law disenfranchising individuals convicted of felonies while in prison and on parole. The initial pro se complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, by Joseph Hayden on September 12,

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