That’s about 1 in 44 adults who are barred from voting because of a current or previous crime conviction. And that’s happening even as half of the United States has moved over the past 25 years to change its voting rights laws and policies, the bill said.
“The basis of any democracy is the right to vote,” project executive Amy Fetig said in a statement. “Laws that exclude people from voting have destabilized communities and families in America for decades by denying them a voice in determining their future.”
The Conviction Draft study found that about three-quarters of those barred from voting live in their communities, having fully served their sentences or remaining on probation or parole.
And whoever has the right to vote has a lot to do with the people who come to power.
“It is clear that the differences in the criminal justice system are related to the differences in political representation,”
The Condemnation Project is a non-profit organization that conducts research to promote reform of sentencing policy, address unjust racial differences and practices, and advocate for alternatives to imprisonment.
What do these populations look like?
According to the project:
About 1 in 16 adult African Americans are disenfranchised. The percentage is about 3.7 times higher than that of non-African-American people of voting age.
The degree of disqualification from African-American rights also varies by country according to 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 Latin American Americans are barred from voting. This is a conservative estimate, the project says, as ethnic groups in the prison population report unevenly. At least 34 countries are depriving Latinx of the right to vote more than the general population, the draft said.
About 1.2 million women are disenfranchised, the project said.
More people are banned in the southern states
Crime rates are highest in the southern states, where voting restrictions were imposed during the Jim Crow era to limit the political power of blacks.
In Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, 1 in 13 people – more than 8% of the adult population – is disenfranchised, the statement said.
In Florida, more than 1.1 million people are barred from voting. The state remains “a leader in disqualifying nations in absolute numbers,” the bill said.
A constitutional amendment from November 2018, adopted by voters in Florida, allowed most people who met “all the conditions of the sentence”, with some exceptions.
Instead, he wrote, he “encourages the full rehabilitation of returning citizens and ensures the full satisfaction of the punishment imposed for the crimes by which criminals have taken away the right to vote.”
CNN’s Rebecca Rees and Fredreka Schouten contributed to this report.