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Date Submitted: 11/02/2014 05:45 PM

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In 1792 Kentucky became the first US state to ban convicted criminals from voting.

1. US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that felon disenfranchisement is a violation of the Voting Rights Act in her May 4, 2006 dissenting opinion in Hayden v. Pataki.

2. In 2004, Florida had the highest percentage of disenfranchised voters (9.01%) of any state. Delaware, at 7.54%, was second, and Alabama, at 7.37%, was third.

3. In 2008 US jails and prisons housed 2,322,486 people - more than the entire populations of Alaska, Montana, and Vermont combined.

4. Maine and Vermont are the only two states where felons are permitted to vote while in prison.

5. In Canada convicted felons have no voting restrictions and can vote while incarcerated.

6. In 1882 the US Congress passed the Edmunds Act banning convicted polygamists from voting or holding political office.

7. 10 states restrict some people with a misdemeanor conviction from voting. The District of Columbia defines certain election, lobbying, and campaign finance-related crimes (that may be misdemeanors) as felonies for the purpose of disenfranchisement under section 1-1001.02(7) of its code.

8. For a convicted felon to vote in Mississippi, his or her state representative must personally author a bill reenfranchising that individual. Both houses of the legislature must then pass the bill. Re-enfranchisement can also be granted directly by the governor.

9. The percentage of state prisoners incarcerated for a drug offense peaked in 1997 at 26.9% (1 in 4 inmates) up from 10.4% (1 in 10) in 1983. As of 2008, 18.4% of all state prisoners were in for a drug related offense.

10. In 2002, the US Senate voted 63-31 against legislation that would have restored voting rights to ex-felons voting in federal elections.

11. Per 100,000 male members of each race, 465 Whites, 1,231 Hispanics, and 3,405 Blacks had been sentenced to prison in 2003.

12. In 2004, the...

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