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Convicted Felons Not Allowed To Vote


In Richardson v. Ramirez, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that California’s state constitutional provision that denies the right to vote to convicted felons does not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. Interpreting the lesser known second clause of the 14th Amendment, the Court reasons that the framers could not have intended the clause to prohibit such laws if they excluded felons from being counted when figuring congressional representation. Today, most states have differing policies on felon voting rights: Some states permanently deny convicted felons the right to vote; others suspend voting rights during incarceration or for a specified period after release from prison.