A Threat to Democracy?

Jeff Manza and Christopher Uggen

in Locked Out

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780195149326
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199943975 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Crime and Public Policy

A Threat to Democracy?

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This chapter considers the impact of felon disenfranchisement on election outcomes. It begins with an overview of the implications of incomplete suffrage rights for democratic practice. It is particularly important to note that felon disenfranchisement constitutes an unusual issue in the post-Voting Rights Act era, in which the question of group impacts becomes a relevant consideration. There is considerable evidence that felon voting restrictions have had a demonstrable impact on national elections. In this sense, rising levels of felon disenfranchisement constitute a reversal of the universalization of the right to vote.

Keywords: felon disenfranchisement; voting; disenfranchised felons; lost votes; election outcomes; suffrage rights; democratic process

Chapter.  7616 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Theory

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