What Americans Believe about Voting Rights for Criminals

Christopher Uggen, University of Minnesota

State laws restrict voting rights for 5.6 million people convicted of serious crimes. Minorities are strongly affected. In careful surveys, Christopher Uggen finds that most Americans agree prisoners should not vote. But most want voting rights restored after wrongdoers have completed their sentences.

Read Christopher Uggen's brief here.

Learn more about Uggen and his pathbreaking research on employment and crime, health inequalities, and on felon voting restrictions.

Uggen and Jeff Manza are co-authors of the important book Locked Out: Felon Disenfranchisement and American Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2006), and some years ago they co-authored a Los Angeles Times OpEd "They've Paid Their Debt; Let Them Vote." Recently, Uggen's SSN brief on public attitudes about restoring voting rights to felons after prison was cited in a July 15, 2012 New York Times editorial about "Disenfranchised Felons."

Along with fellow SSN member Doug Hartmann (Sociology, University of Minnesota), Christopher Uggen co-edits and publishes The Society Pages, which aims to make social science more publicly visible.

September 2012