Act Nationally

The first step on the road to action is to acquire knowledge, and in addition to organizations in your states there are many national organizations out there that can help you to learn more about the arguments for and against disfranchisement of people with felony convictions.  

There are three organizations deeply involved and working together on the issue of felony disfranchisement. The Sentencing Project’s major focus areas are communications and research. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Brennan Center for Justice advocate, educate, litigate and draft state legislation. All three provide guidance and technical assistance to state organizations working on the issue.

Other organizations are also active on the issue of felony disfranchisement, and have information that may be useful to you, among them Demos, a Network for Ideas and Action, the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, which actively litigates felony disfranchisement cases, and democracy and justice action groups like the Advancement Project.

The American Bar Association says that jurisdictions should not take away the right to vote, except during actual confinement. In 2001, the National Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by former Presidents Ford and Carter, recommended that voting rights be automatically restored upon completion of sentence, a position that is supported by the American Correctional Association. Chuck Colson of the Prison Fellowship also believes that it is an anachronism that we do not allow ex-offenders to vote.

We've listed more useful links below. Once you're informed about the issue, then you can decide how to organize around it.

Other potential links to review:
http://www.prisonpolicy.org/news/crisis_july2002.shtml
http://projectvote.org

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