Restore the Vote Minnesota www.restorethevotemn.org What is Disenfranchisement? Felon disenfranchisement is the removal of voting rights from those who have been convicted of a felony. A felony is any crime that carries a sentence of one year or greater. Disenfranchisement Nationwide Nationally, 5.85 million citizens can no longer vote due to a felony conviction. Disenfranchisement in Minnesota 63,000 Minnesotans were unable to vote due to a felony conviction in 2011. Disenfranchisement in Minnesota • In Minnesota, individuals convicted of a felony are not eligible to vote until they have completed all terms of their sentence, including any probation or parole. Minnesota Compared to Nationwide States with Shorter Disenfranchisement (20) Never Disenfranchised (2) ◦ Maine and Vermont No Vote in Prison Only (13) ◦ Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Utah No Vote in Prison or on Parole* (5) ◦ California, Colorado, Connecticut, New York, and South Dakota *Parole is a supervised release period after prison (1/3 of sentences in MN). Minnesota Compared to Nationwide Minnesota and Longer Disenfranchisement No Vote in Prison, Parole, or Probation* (19) ◦ Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin No Vote in Prison, Parole, Probation and Beyond (11) ◦ Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming *Probation is a period of supervision without going to prison, often includes up to 1 year in jail. Minnesota Compared to the Region Disenfranchisement Rates MN WI ND SD NE IA IL MT KS IN MI MO 1.5% 1.5% 0.3% 1.1% 1.3% 0.9% 0.5% 0.5% 0.9% 0.6% 0.6% 2.3% Disenfranchised in Minnesota 6,899 9,345 5,799 41,073 Probation Parole Prison Jail 75% (53,771 in 2011) of those disenfranchised in Minnesota are not behind bars and unable to vote while they live in the community. Disparate Impact on People of Color ◦ African-Americans make up 5% of the Minnesota population, but represent 25% of the total number of disenfranchised individuals. ◦ Over 12% (about 1 in 8) of AfricanAmerican men in Minnesota cannot vote because of felon disenfranchisement (compared to 1% of White Minnesotans). ◦ Native Americans make up less than 2% of the Minnesota population, but represent more than 6% of those disenfranchised. African American Disenfranchisement Rate FL KY VA TN WY AL MS NV AZ WI DE AR ID GA MN AK TX 23.32% 22.34% 20.37% 18.92% 18.29% 14.98% 13.92% 12.60% 11.20% 8.93% 8.27% 7.89% 7.80% 7.47% 7.27% 7.26% 7.12% IA MO LA OK NE NJ NM SD KS WA MT CA CO WV SC CT MD 6.90% 6.88% 6.76% 6.26% 5.52% 5.45% 4.87% 4.73% 4.53% 4.24% 4.14% 4.12% 4.03% 3.45% 3.40% 3.31% 3.21% UT NC OR PA OH IN MI ND NY IL RI NH HI MA ME VT 3.05% 2.84% 2.63% 2.54% 2.41% 2.39% 2.35% 2.10% 2.10% 2.03% 1.87% 1.55% 1.02% 0.93% 0.00% 0.00% Historical Perspective • In the 1860’s: There were less than 75 felony crimes in statute. There was no probation so all felons were incarcerated. Just over 30 people were in prison, about .02 percent of the voting age population then. • Today: • There are 368 felony crimes. • About 75 percent of felonies result in no prison sentence. • About 1.5% percent of our voting age population is disenfranchised. Historical Perspective Since 1974, the percentage of voting age Minnesotans disenfranchised as a result of felony conviction has increased over 400%. Effect of Current Law Disenfranchisement is not shown to provide any benefits for rehabilitation, deterrence, or increasing public safety. People who can’t participate are less likely to feel a productive part of their community. Effect of Current Law The children of parents who are disenfranchised are less likely to vote as adults. The current law can be confusing. Benefits of Restoration Provides individuals with an opportunity to feel stronger ties with their community. Allowing those who are in the community to vote reduces confusion among voters and election officials about who can vote. Helps address racial disparities. Restoring the right to vote for those living in the community will: ◦positively engage more people in the democratic process ◦make all Minnesota communities stronger ◦make the law clear ◦save resources ◦make our communities safer and more just. Public Safety/Legal Faith Based Minnesota Association Organizations of Criminal Defense Joint Religious Lawyers Legislative Coalition Minnesota Community Minnesota Catholic Corrections Conference Association Minnesota Council of Minnesota Corrections Churches Association Minnesota Unitarian Minnesota County Universalist Social Attorneys Association Justice Alliance State Public Defender Coalition Members Direct Service Organizations African Immigrant Services American Indian OIC Goodwill/Easter Seals MN Integrated Community Solutions, Inc. L.I.F.E. In Recovery MN Adult and Teen Challenge MN Community Action Partnership Minnesota Recovery Connection The Neighborhood Hub Open Access Connections RS Eden St. Stephen's Human Services Civic Engagement and Advocacy Organizations ACLU of Minnesota Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota Council on Crime and Justice Growth & Justice Land Stewardship Project League of Women Voters Minnesota Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless MN Second Chance Coalition Minnesotans Standing Together to End Poverty (MNSTEP) NAACP St. Paul Branch Organizing Apprenticeship Project People For the American Way Prison Policy Initiative R3 Collaborative TakeAction Minnesota Ten25Fifty Republican Liberty Caucus Liberty MN Blue Republicans MN League of Cities MN Association of Counties MN County Attorney’s Association Coalition Members Restore the Vote Minnesota www.restorethevotemn.org Sign up for alerts. “Like” on Facebook and follow on Twitter. Fill out card for your legislator and the Governor. Contact your legislator directly. What can you do?