Voting as an Ex-Offender

In all but two states, voting age citizens convicted of a felony are barred from voting for some period of time. Laws vary in each state. While many states restore voting rights to individuals automatically after they exit jail or prison, others permanently disenfranchise people with a past felony conviction or require they petition the government to have their right restored.

This is a short up-to-date state guide to voting for ex-offenders. For more, visit the resources on the right.

Overview

Voting rights retained while incarcerated for a felony conviction in:

Maine and Vermont.

Voting rights restored automatically upon release from prison in:

The District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Utah.

Voting rights restored automatically once released from prison and discharged from parole (probationers can vote) in:

California, Colorado, Connecticut, and New York.

Voting rights restored automatically upon completion of sentence, including prison, parole, and probation in:

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Voting rights restoration is dependent on the type of conviction and/or the outcome of an individual petition or application to the government in:

Alabama, Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, and Wyoming.

Voting rights can ONLY be restored through an individual petition or application to the government in:

Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia.

State by State

A | C | D | F | G | H | I | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W

Alabama

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights restoration is dependent on the type of conviction: some individuals may apply to have their voting rights restored immediately after completing their full sentence, but those convicted of certain felony offenses–such as murder, rape, incest, sexual crimes against children, and treason–are not eligible for re-enfranchisement. However, if convicted of a felony that does not involve “moral turpitude”, then the individual does not lose their right to vote.
Contact the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles at 334-242-8700 for more information.

Alaska

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Arizona

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. If convicted of only one felony, voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. However, if convicted of two or more felonies, the right to vote can only be restored through a judge or if pardoned. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Arkansas

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

California

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated and on parole. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of parole, and people on probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Colorado

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated and on parole. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of parole, and people on probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Connecticut

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated and on parole. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of parole, and people on probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Delaware

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Some ex-felons can regain the right to vote immediately after completion of their full sentence and the payment of fines and fees. However, people convicted of certain felonies–such as murder, manslaughter, bribery or public corruption, and sex offenses–are barred from voting unless they receive a formal pardon from the governor.

District of Columbia

Individuals incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison, and people on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Florida

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights restoration is dependent on the type of conviction: many can apply to the clemency board five years after completing their sentence, but others convicted of certain felonies—such as murder, assault, child abuse, drug trafficking, and arson—are subject to a seven year waiting period.

Georgia

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Hawaii

Individuals incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison, and people on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Idaho

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Illinois

Individuals incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison, and people on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Indiana

Individuals incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison, and people on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Iowa

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. In addition to completing all terms of their sentence, ex-offenders must also pay all outstanding monetary obligations to the court. Once this is complete, individuals convicted of a felony can apply to have their voting rights restored—which can only be done through the governor or the president of the United States.

Kansas

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Kentucky

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. The right to vote can only be restored if the governor approves an application for an executive pardon once an individual has completed their sentence.

Louisiana

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Maine

The right to vote is never taken away from individuals convicted of felony, even while incarcerated.

Maryland

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Massachusetts

Individuals incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison, and people on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Michigan

Individuals incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison, and people on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Visit the Michigan Department of State’s website for more information.

Minnesota

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Mississippi

In Mississippi, only individuals convicted of one of 21 specific felony crimes lose the right to vote. All others retain their voting rights, even while incarcerated. Re-enfranchisement for those that have lost the right to vote can only be granted through a bill passed by both houses of the legislature or through the governor. [The 21 felonies (in alphabetical order) are: armed robbery, arson, bigamy, bribery, carjacking, embezzlement, extortion, felony bad check, felony shoplifting, forgery, larceny, murder, obtaining money or goods under false pretense, perjury, rape, receiving stolen property, robbery, statutory rape, theft, timber larceny, and unlawful taking of a vehicle.]

Missouri

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Montana

Individuals incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison, and people on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Nebraska

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored two years after the completion of all supervised release (except if convicted of treason). Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Nevada

In Nevada, voting rights are restored automatically after sentence completion if convicted of a non-violent felony. However, those convicted of a violent felony and all second-time felony offenders (whether violent or non-violent) can only have their rights restored by the court in which they were convicted.

For more information visit the Nevada Secretary of State’s website.

New Hampshire

Individuals incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison, and people on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

New Jersey

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

New Mexico

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

New York

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated and on parole. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of parole, and people on probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

North Carolina

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

North Dakota

Individuals incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison, and people on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Ohio

Individuals incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison, and people on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Oklahoma

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Oregon

Individuals incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison, and people on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Pennsylvania

Individuals incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison, and people on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Rhode Island

Individuals incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison, and people on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

South Carolina

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

South Dakota

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated and on parole. Convicted felons must serve their full term of incarceration, parole, and probation before they may register to vote.  Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Tennessee

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Individuals convicted of a felony since 1981–except for some felonies such as murder, rape, treason and voter fraud–may apply to the Board of Probation and Parole to have their voting rights restored once their sentence is completed.

Texas

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Utah

Individuals incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison, and people on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Vermont

The right to vote is never taken away from individuals convicted of a felony, even while incarcerated.

Virginia

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison for non-violent felons. Those convicted of violent felonies, drug sales and manufacturing, crimes against minors, and electoral offenses must wait five years before applying for a gubernatorial restoration of voting rights.  The ability to vote is restored to all non-violent felons who have completed their term of incarceration and all probation or parole; have paid all court costs, fines, and any restitution; and have no pending felony charges.

Washington

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.  However, the Secretary of State’s website states that persons who have “willfully failed to make three payments in a 12 month period” on any court imposed fines may have their ability to vote revoked by the prosecutor.

West Virginia

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Wisconsin

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Wyoming

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights restoration is dependent on the type of conviction: first-time non-violent felony offenders can apply to the Wyoming Board of Parole five years after completion of sentence. All others must apply to the Governor for either a pardon or a restoration of rights, but must wait ten and five years, respectively, after completing their sentence.