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July 31, 2013

Felon Voting Restrictions Have Bigger Impact Than Voter ID

Harry Enten: "Over 20% of the black population [in Florida] are disenfranchised because of felon and ex-felon voting restrictions. That includes about half a million blacks... Over 15% of the black populations are disenfranchised because of ex-felon [i.e. those who have "paid their debt to society"] voting restrictions. In terms of electoral results, President Obama would have added 2.6pt to his 0.9pt Florida margin had felons and ex-felons been allowed to vote. Even if we just count ex-felons, it would have been 2.2pt. Al Gore would have easily won the state given this data..."

"Thus, laws prohibiting felons and ex-felons have a major impact on elections and may determine a winner in the near future. I don't expect people to take up the banner of felon and ex-felon voting rights. They're not are as sexy as a topic as voter identification for obvious reasons. But if you're looking for voting restrictions that afflict minorities in the south and can have major electoral implications, then felon and ex-felon voting laws have a far greater impact than voter identification laws."


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