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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 227882 Find in a Library
Title: Estimating the Impact of Kentucky's Felon Disenfranchisement Policy on 2008 Presidential and Senatorial Elections
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:73  Issue:1  Dated:June 2009  Pages:28-32
Author(s): Gennaro F. Vito; J. Eagle Shutt; Richard Tewksbury
Date Published: June 2009
Page Count: 5
Document: HTML
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis; Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the effects of Kentucky's felon disenfranchisement policy (restriction of voting rights for convicted felons) on the 2008 presidential and senatorial elections.
Abstract: Kentucky is one of only three States that permanently disenfranchise all persons with felony convictions, even after termination of criminal justice supervision. Disenfranchised individuals must apply to the Governor for an executive pardon for the restoration of voting rights. This article argues that the continuation of felon disenfranchisement sends a negative and harmful message to citizens in failing to recognize felons' performance in completing their sentence; and for ex-offenders, it is another reminder that they are separated from normative community life and responsibilities by a continuing stigma. Although arguing against the policy of felon disenfranchisement, the study found that even if all felon probationers and parolees in Kentucky had voted in the 2008 election, the majority vote in the 2008 election would have been the same. Although felon disenfranchises would likely have voted for Democratic candidates, McCain (presidential candidate) and McConnell (senatorial candidate) would have still won in the 2008 election in Kentucky. Based on this finding, the authors argue that there is no reason to continue felon disenfranchisement out of a fear that it would change the political balance of power in the State. The study estimated the voting preferences of disenfranchised voters through a survey administered to a stratified random sample of Kentucky's probationers and parolees. Respondents were asked to indicate their preferences for United States president and senator, as well as their preference for political parties. The projected voting patterns of disenfranchised voter preferences were then combined with official voting tallies in order to estimate the effect of Kentucky's felon disenfranchisement policy on national and State elections. 3 tables and 21 references
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Ex-offenders rights; Kentucky; Legislative impact; State laws
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