The right to vote is a fundamental part of America’s democracy, and the government should not abridge that right lightly. Restoring the right to vote for people who have been disenfranchised strengthens our democracy by increasing voter participation and helping formerly incarcerated people to reintegrate into society.
Being able to vote in elections is an incredibly important right that should not be denied to someone simply because they were convicted of a crime. More than six million Americans are currently disenfranchised due to a felony conviction, and laws that disenfranchise people because of felony convictions disproportionately disenfranchise Black Americans. In many states, they were in fact intended to have this racist effect; the modern practice of felony disenfranchisement became particularly widespread in the Jim Crow era, and after Reconstruction, white lawmakers codified felony disenfranchisement laws that explicitly targeted Black Americans to diminish their electoral strength.