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REGAINING THE RIGHT TO VOTE

Following a criminal conviction, some states automatically restore a person's eligibility to register and vote in elections. Others require the individual to complete an additional process. Because each state or territory is different in its requirements and procedures, the best source of reliable information is the appropriate agency or office for the state in which you are interested. Listed below are web site for each state or territory. Where a state has posted specific information regarding the process by which individual can have his or her rights restored, the link is to that information. If not, we have provided the link to more general voter registration information for the state. These web site addresses are current as of May 1, 2009.

Alabama
This links to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles, which hears and grants requests for restoration of voting rights. The website provides background information and contact information for Board staff.

http://www.pardons.state.al.us/

Alaska
This links to the Parole Board at the Department of Corrections. The Parole Board must make recommendations regarding clemency applications to the Governor. The site provides guidance regarding requesting executive clemency, including a Clemency Handbook.

http://www.correct.state.ak.us/corrections/Parole/

Arizona
The first link is to the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency, which recommends clemency decisions to the Governor. The second link is to the Superior Court of Maricopa County's application for restoration of civil rights. The voting rights for first-time offenders are restored automatically, while repeat offenders can regain voting rights through judicial restoration or gubernatorial pardon.

http://www.azboec.gov/
http://www.clerkofcourt.maricopa.gov/faxondemand/300.pdf

Arkansas
This links to the Arkansas Parole Board, which handles clemency appeals, and frequently asked questions site maintained by Arkansas Secretary of State. The site notes that voting rights are automatically restored after discharge of a felon's sentence, completion of parole, or a pardon from the Governor.

http://www.arbop.org/
http://www.votenaturally.org/where_when_how_vote.html

California
This links to the Secretary of State's frequently asked questions site describing restoration of voting rights and voter registration process for felons.

http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sharing-ideas/a-voting-guide-for-inmates.pdf

Colorado
This links to the frequently asked questions part of the "voting and convictions" section informing felons that voting rights are automatically upon completion of sentence.

http://www.elections.colorado.gov/DDefault.aspx?tid=845

Connecticut
The links to the Connecticut voter registration application, which notes that voting rights are restored by local registrar, which are restored upon release from incarceration, payment of any fines, and the end of any period of parole.

http://www.ct.gov/sots/LIB/sots/ElectionServices/ElectForms/electforms/ed671.pdf

Delaware
This links to further information regarding restoration of voting rights for some felonies and lists basic restoration criteria.

http://elections.delaware.gov/services/voter/felons.shtml

District of Columbia
This links to the District of Columbia's voter registration form, which indicates that only currently incarcerated felons are ineligible to register to vote.

http://www.dcboee.org/pdf_files/Mail_VRForm_HAVA2003.pdf

Florida
The links to a frequently asked questions site describing the process and eligibility criteria for restoration of rights, which is overseen by the Florida Parole Commission. The rights of persons who have completed their terms of incarceration or any supervised release programs and who have never been convicted of specified crimes, including certain types of sexual and violent offenses, are automatically restored. Others must apply for restoration as per the procedures set out by the Florida Parole Commission.

https://fpc.state.fl.us/FAQ.htm

Georgia
This links to the Georgia State Board Pardons and Paroles Frequently Asked Question site, which notes that voting rights are restored automatically upon completion of sentence, including probation.

http://www.pap.state.ga.us/opencms/opencms/

Hawaii
This links to a fact sheet on the impact of felony conviction on voting rights in Hawaii where persons serving felony sentences cannot vote if they currently imprisoned, but can vote when released, including when on parole or probation.

http://hawaii.gov/elections/factsheets/html/fsvs509.htm/download

Idaho
This links to a frequently asked questions site noting that persons convicted of felonies can vote upon restoration of their civil rights, which are automatically restored upon completion of sentence, including probation or parole.

http://www.idahovotes.gov/VoterReg/REG_FAQ.HTM

Illinois
This links to a site providing voter information. Those persons who are currently imprisoned after conviction of a crime are ineligible to vote. All others may register to vote, and those imprisoned pending trial may request absentee ballots.

http://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/VotingInformation/PDF/R-19.pdf
http://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/VotingInformation/PDF/Illinois_Voter_Information.pdf

Indiana
This links to the state voter handbook, which notes that only those imprisoned after conviction are ineligible to register to vote. Those incarcerated before conviction, on parole, or probation or who have served their sentence may register to vote.

http://www.in.gov/sos/elections/pdfs/2008%20Voter%20Registration%20Guidebook.pdf>

Iowa
The Iowa Governor's office automatically restores voting rights of those individuals who have completed their sentence, including any period or parole or probation. The voting rights of those who completed their sentence prior to July 4, 2005 were automatically restored, while the Governor's office automatically files an application for restoration of voting rights for those who complete their sentence after this date.

http://www.governor.iowa.gov/administration/citizenship-faq.php

Kentucky
This links to the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet (JPSC) which, under the "How do I..." section of the site, provides a link to the Application for the Restoration of Civil Rights and information the return of the completed application.

http://justice.ky.gov/default.htm

Louisiana
Louisiana does not have a specific page on restoration but this link directs you to the Louisiana Secretary of State Elections Division voter information page. Here, the link sets forth that, in order to register to vote, an individual must not be under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony and provides a link for a voter registration application form.

http://www.sos.louisiana.gov/tabid/68/Default.aspx

Maine
Maine does not have specific page on restoration, so this link directs you to the page on voter eligibility where there is the statement that a person who is incarcerated can register to vote in the municipality where they had previously established their residency if they intent to return there.

http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/index.html

Maryland
This links to the Maryland State Board of Elections voter rights restoration page which states that if you have been convicted of a felony and have completed serving a court-ordered sentence of imprisonment, including any term of parole or probation for the conviction, you are eligible to register to vote.

http://www.elections.state.md.us/voter_registration/restoration.html

Massachusetts
Massachusetts does not have a specific page on restoration, so this link will take you to the Massachusetts Elections Division of the Secretary of State's page, which lists the eligibility requirements for registering to vote. The list does identify having been convicted of a felony and not having completing one's sentence as disqualifying.

http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleidx.htm

Michigan
This links to the Department of State's Election and Voting Section's frequently asked question section, which note that residents in pre-trial confinement may vote, but those serving a sentence post-conviction are ineligible to vote during the period of confinement.

http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-29836-202492--F,00.html

Minnesota
This links to the Minnesota Secretary of State's web page where the link to registering to voter informs you that you may register to vote if you have had any felony conviction record discharged, expired, or completed.

http://www.sos.state.mn.us/home/index.asp?page=134

Mississippi
Mississippi not have a specific page on restoration but this link takes you to the Mississippi Secretary of State web page where you can find information regarding registering to vote and election contacts.

http://www.mdoc.state.ms.us/index.htm

Missouri
This links to the Missouri Secretary of State voter information page which states that you may not vote while confined under a sentence of imprisonment, while on probation or parole after the conviction of a felony, or after conviction of a felony or misdemeanor connected with voting or the right of suffrage.

http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/s_default.asp?id=voter

Montana
This links to the Montana Secretary of State's frequently asked questions on voter information page which notes that you may not vote if you are a person, who has been convicted of a felony and is serving a sentence in a penal institution.

http://sos.mt.gov/Elections/Voter_Information.asp

Nebraska
This links to the Nebraska Secretary of State's frequently asked questions on voter information page which notes that you may not vote if you have been convicted of a felony, or if convicted, at least two years have passed since the completion of your sentence for the felony including any parole term.

http://www.sos.state.ne.us/elec/voter_info.html

Nevada
This links to the Nevada Secretary of State restoration of voter rights page which provides detailed information regarding documentation requirements for former felons who have served out their sentence and are attempting to register to vote.

http://sos.state.nv.us/elections/voter/restoration.asp

New Hampshire
New Hampshire does not have a specific page on restoration so this links to the New Hampshire Secretary of State Election Division's web site which provides information for voter registration.

http://www.sos.nh.gov/electionsnew.html

New Jersey
This links to the New Jersey Division of Elections' "Who Can Register" page which notes that you may not vote if you are serving a sentence, on parole, or on probation as a result of a conviction of an indictable offense under state or federal law.

http://www.njelections.org/who-can-register.html

New Mexico
This links to the New Mexico Secretary of State's web site which notes that a voter's registration is terminated following the conviction of a felony, but that he or she is eligible to reinstate their registration after completion of their term.

http://www.sos.state.nm.us/sos-elections.html

New York
This links to the New York State Board of Elections voting page, which notes that you may not vote if you are in jail or on parole for a felony conviction.

http://www.elections.state.ny.us/Voting.html

North Carolina
This links to the North Carolina State Board of Elections' web page. Here you can access "Voter Registration Quick Facts" link, which states that if you have previously been convicted of a felony, you must have completed all parts of your sentence, including probation and parole, and then your citizenship rights are automatically restored and are permitted to register and vote.

http://www.sboe.state.nc.us/content.aspx?id=23

North Dakota
North Dakota does not have a specific page on restoration, so this links to the North Dakota Secretary of State's website, which provides general election information, including voter registration guidelines.

http://www.nd.gov/sos/electvote/voting/voter-qualifi.html

Ohio
This links to an Advisory issued by the Ohio Secretary of State on the voting rights of persons convicted of a felony.

http://www.sos.state.oh.us/elections/Directives/2008%20Advisories/2008-16.aspx

Oklahoma
This links to general voter registration information, which notes that those convicted of a felony may not register until their sentence has expired.

http://www.ok.gov/~elections/voterreg.html

Oregon
Oregon does not have a specific page on restoration, so this links to the Oregon Secretary of State's Election Division website, which provides general election information, including voter registration guidelines.

http://www.sos.state.or.us/elections/other.info/vr.htm

Pennsylvania
This links to a report by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania"s Department of State regarding the voting rights of person who have completed their felony sentence.

http://www.dos.state.pa.us/dos/lib/dos/20/convicted_felon_brochure_website.pdf

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico does not have a specific page on restoration, so this links to the Puerto Rico Election Commission's website, which provides general Spanish-language election information, including voter registration guidelines.

http://www.ceepur.org/

Rhode Island
This links to the Rhode Island Secretary of State's web page, which states that due to a change in the state law persons who have been convicted of a felony may vote, even if they are on probation or parole. The page also provides links to general election information, including voter registration guidelines.

http://www.sec.state.ri.us/vic/
http://www.sec.state.ri.us/PressReleases/felons-now-have-new-voting-rights/

South Carolina
This links to the South Carolina's State Election Commission's Voter Registration site. The Who Can Register link gives specific information relating to the voting rights of persons convicted of felonies.

http://www.state.sc.us/scsec/vr.html

South Dakota
South Dakota does not have a specific page on restoration, so this links to the South Dakota Secretary of State's website, which provides general election information, including voter registration guidelines. The site notes that persons currently "serving a sentence for a felony conviction which included imprisonment, served or suspended, in an adult penitentiary system" may not vote.

http://www.sdsos.gov/electionsvoteregistration/registrationvoting.shtm

Tennessee
This links to the Tennessee Department of State and offers guidance on how persons who have completed their felony sentences can regain their voting rights.

http://state.tn.us/sos/election/restoration.htm

Texas
Texas does not have a specific page on restoration, so this links to the Texas Secretary of State's website, which provides general election information, including voter registration guidelines.

http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/reqvr.shtml

Utah
Utah does not have a specific page on restoration, so this links to Utah's Lieutenant Governor's website, which provides general election information, including voter registration guidelines.

http://elections.utah.gov/Voterregistrationinformation.html

Vermont
Vermont does not have a specific page on restoration, so this links to the Vermont Secretary of State's website, which provides general election information, including voter registration guidelines.

http://vermont-elections.org/soshome.htm

Virginia
This links to the Secretary of the Commonwealth's website which provides specific information regarding the restoration of votng rights for persons who have completed their felony sentence.

http://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/JudicialSystem/Clemency/restoration.cfm

Virgin Islands
The Virgin Islands web site does not have a specific page on restoration, so this links to its Election System web page site, which provides general election information, including voter registration guidelines.

http://www.vivote.gov/

Washington
This links to the Washington's Secretary of State's website, which contains specific information about the voting rights of those who have been convicted of crimes.

https://wei.secstate.wa.gov/OSOS/EN/VOTERINFORMATION/Pages/felons.aspx

West Virginia
West Virginia does not have a specific page on restoration, so this links to the West Virginia Secretary of State website, which provides general election information, including voter registration guidelines.

http://www.wvsos.com/elections/main.htm

Wisconsin
Wisconsin does not have a specific page on restoration, so this links to a Wisconsin state government page's frequently asked questions, which includes general election information, including voter registration guidelines.

http://www.wisconsin.gov/state/core/faq_wisconsin_voting_elections.html

Wyoming
This links to the Wyoming Bureau of Prison's website, which provides information regarding the restoration of voting rights for individuals who have completed a felony sentence.

http://bop.state.wy.us/votingrights/votingrights.htm

Federal System
This links to the Department of Justice's Office of the Pardon Attorney, and provides information regarding clemency regulations, petitions, and statistics.

http://www.usdoj.gov/pardon/

General Information Voting Section
Contact
Toll-free - (800) 253-3931
Telephone - (202) 307-2767
Fax - (202) 307-3961
Email - voting.section@usdoj.gov

By letter to the addresses below:

Mailing Contact
United States Postal Service mail (including certified mail and express mail) should be addressed to:

Voting Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
Room 7254 - NWB
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20530

Deliveries by overnight express service (such as Airborne, DHL, Federal Express or UPS) should be addressed to:

Voting Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
Room 7254 - NWB
1800 G St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
Redistricting Census Information
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