Voting Rights for Ex-Offenders by State

(updated 6/10/19) 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 continue the bar on voting even while on probation or parole. Some even permanently disenfranchise people with a past conviction or require they petition the government to have their right restored.

This is a short, up-to-date state guide to voting for people with past felonies. For more, visit the resources on the right.

Overview

Voting rights retained while in prison for a felony conviction in:

Maine and Vermont.

Voting rights restored automatically upon release from prison in:

Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, NevadaNorth 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, Connecticut, and Oklahoma

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

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, FloridaGeorgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Virginia now does this by the policy of the current governor.

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:

Iowa and Kentucky

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 still eligible to vote unless they are convicted of a certain class of felony charges — “crimes moral turpitude” — who are ineligible to vote while in prison, 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 in prison, 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 in prison, 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 in prison, 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 in prison and on parole. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison. People on probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Colorado

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while in prison. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison. People on probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Connecticut

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while in prison and on parole. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of parole and payment of fines. People on probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Delaware

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while in prison, on parole, or on probation. Most ex-offenders can regain the right to vote immediately after completion of their full sentence.  Except for people convicted of certain felonies–including murder, manslaughter, bribery or public corruption, and sex offenses are barred from voting unless they receive a formal pardon from the governor. As of July 2016, it is not necessary to have paid all fines, fees, and restitution in order to register.

District of Columbia

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

Florida

As of November 2018, individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote when in prison and continue to be ineligible while on parole, on probation, and payment of fines unless fines are waived by a judge. People convicted of a sex offense or murder are permanently not allowed to vote unless granted a pardon to do so. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote when allowed.

Georgia

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while in prison, 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 in prison for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison. 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 in prison, 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 in prison for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison. People on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Indiana

Individuals in prison for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison. 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 in prison, 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. For more information.

Kansas

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

Kentucky

Kentucky’s constitution permanently bars all individuals with past felony convictions from voting, unless the governor restores the right to vote.  Contact the Secretary of State or your local election office for more information.

Louisiana

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while in prison, on parole, or on probation. The right to register and vote is automatically restored upon completion of supervised release or, as of a change made March 1, 2019, earlier if the person on probation or parole has been free from prison for the last five consecutive years.

Maine

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

Maryland

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while in prison but can register and vote upon release, even while on probation or parole (as of April 2016). Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Massachusetts

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

Michigan

Individuals in prison for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison. 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 in prison, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Mississippi

People convicted of one or more of a specific list of felony crimes are barred from voting. To regain the right to vote, individuals, after completion of their sentence, must go to their state representative and convince them to personally author a bill restoring the vote to that individual. Both houses of the legislature must then pass the bill. Re-enfranchisement can also be granted directly by the governor.

Note: Individuals convicted of felonies in Mississippi remain eligible to vote for U.S. President in federal elections.

Missouri

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while in prison, on parole, or on probation. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote. Individuals who have been convicted of an election offense, whether a felony or misdemeanor, are not allowed to vote

Montana

Individuals in prison for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison. 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 in prison, 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. For more information.

Nevada

As of July 1, 2019, Nevada’s Governor signed a new law restoring all voting rights automatically upon release from prison. Any person on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

For more information visit here.

New Hampshire

Individuals in prison for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison. 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 in prison, 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 in prison, 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 in prison. On April 2018 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 181 to restore the right to vote to parolees, dependent upon a monthly review of records by the Governor’s Office. The right to vote is automatically restored for all persons upon release from prison, even for parolees as long as they do not violate the terms of their parole. If on parole, check your status here.

North Carolina

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while in prison, 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 in prison for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison. People on parole or probation can vote. Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

Ohio

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

Oklahoma

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote from the time of judgment and sentencing until the full sentence has expired, regardless of whether or not an individual has been paroled. Those convicted of a felony who receive a deferred sentence will retain their voting rights, provided the individual does not violate probation. Those who receive a full pardon for a felony conviction may re-register as a voter once the pardon has been issued. In Oklahoma, it is the individual’s responsibility to refrain from any activity which may violate voting laws. Ex-offenders must re-register to have voting rights completely restored.

Oregon

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

Pennsylvania

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

Rhode Island

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

Tennessee

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while in prison, 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. People convicted of a felony between Jan. 15, 1973, and May 17, 1981, are eligible to register to vote regardless of the crime committed. People convicted before January 1973 are generally barred from voting.

Texas

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while in prison, 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 in prison for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison. 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 in prison.

Virginia

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while in prison, on parole, or on probation. Non-violent felons (including the sale of drugs) will have their voting rights automatically restored upon release from prison but must fill out this online form. Those convicted of violent felonies, crimes against minors, and electoral offenses must wait three years before applying for a gubernatorial restoration of voting rights. Virginia is one of four states whose constitution permanently disenfranchises citizens with past felony convictions, but grants the state’s governor the authority to restore voting rights. The state’s former and current governor now issue individual restorations for all citizens who have completed their sentence, including probation and parole. Individuals can always check their status on the Secretary of Commonwealth’s website: www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/ror

Washington

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while in prison, 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 in prison, 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 in prison, 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 in Wyoming of a non-violent felony since January 2010 automatically have their rights restored after prison. Those convicted on a non-violent felony before 2010 or in another state can apply to the Wyoming Board of Parole to have their rights restored. All others must apply to the Governor for either a pardon or a restoration of rights after completing their sentence including probation and parole.