The Sentencing Project has published a new study, “6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016” by Christopher Uggen, Ryan Larson, and Sarah Shannon. Their key findings:
- As of 2016, an estimated 6.1 million people are disenfran-chised due to a felony conviction, a dramatic escalation from 1.17 million people disenfranchised in 1976, and 3.34 million in 1996.
- Approximately 2.5 percent of the total U.S. voting age population – 1 of every 40 adults – is disenfranchised due to a current or previous felony conviction.
- Individuals who have completed their sentences in the twelve states that disenfranchise people post-sentence make up over 50 percent of the entire disenfranchised population, totaling almost 3.1 million people.
- Rates of disenfranchisement vary dramatically by state due to broad variations in voting prohibitions. In six states – Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia – more than 7 percent of the adult population is disenfranchised.
- Florida alone accounts for more than a quarter (27 percent) of the disenfranchised population nationally, and its nearly 1.5 million individuals disenfranchised post-sentence account for nearly half (48 percent) of the national total.
- One in 13 African Americans of voting age is disenfranchised, a rate more than four times greater than that of non-African Americans. Over 7.4 percent of the adult African American population is disenfranchised compared to 1.8 percent of the non-African American population.
- African American disenfranchisement rates also vary significantly by state. In four states – Florida (21 percent), Kentucky (26 percent), Tennessee (21 percent), and Virginia (22 percent) – more than one in five African Americans is disenfranchised.