Missing Black Voters

Unaccounted in the Census Bureau estimates are the 5.8 million adults who are ineligible to vote due to a current or previous felony conviction. All but two states (Maine and Vermont) take away the right to vote for a period of time after a felony conviction. In 48 states, prisoners are ineligible to vote, in 35 of these states persons also cannot vote on probation and/or parole, and in 12 states citizens may lose their voting rights even after they have completed their sentence.

"Racial disparities in the criminal justice system translate into much higher rates of disenfranchisement for African Americans relative to other groups. Factoring these uncounted lost voters in to the black population produces a turnout figure up to 72 percent of the eligible adult population. The high disenfranchisement rate of black males in particular helps to explain as well the nearly nine point gender gap in black voting, considerably higher than for other groups." [Read more]