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Can Felons In Washington State Vote

author
Daniel Brown
• Friday, 01 January, 2021
• 8 min read

If you were convicted of a felony in a Washington State court, your right to vote is restored automatically once you are no longer under the authority of DOC (in prison or on community custody). However, you're voting rights can be revoked if the sentencing court determines that you have failed to comply with the terms of your legal financial obligations.

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Contents

Only people in jail, prison, or on community custody under Department of Corrections (DOC) authority for a felony conviction are not eligible to vote. You must also be a citizen of the United States, legal resident of WashingtonState, 18 years old, not under the authority of the DOC, and not disqualified due to a court order.

Currently, felons lose their voting rights after they are convicted and regain them once they have served their prison term and completed community custody or probation. Supporters of the bill, which included the state Department of Corrections, have argued the legislation is consistent with efforts to reintegrate people convicted of felonies into society and to reduce their chances of re-offending, Murderer said.

Some Republicans countered that felons should not be allowed to vote until prison time, community custody and restitution is completed. Multiple amendments to the bill were proposed including exempting those convicted of sex offenses from getting their voting rights restored earlier than under current law and prohibiting people on community custody from voting if they were convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm and were criminal street gang members or associates.

Voting is important in a democratic society since it represents the most basic way for citizens to make their voices heard. By voting their chosen candidates they can help decide the policies and the political direction the country will take.

Felons under the authority of the Department of Corrections are not allowed to vote. Even if you were convicted in Federal court or another state, you're voting rights will be restored once you are released.

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In addition, you must meet voter eligibility requirements such as being a legal resident of the state and a citizen of the US. However, the Secretary of State screens the list of eligible voters thrice a year, using information from the court system and the DOC.

Ineligible felons will be sent a letter with information on how to challenge the cancellation. I am passionate about injustice and issues felons face after serving their sentence.

WashingtonState encourages every eligible person to register to vote and participate fully in all elections. Each of us is responsible for protecting the integrity of the electoral process by providing equal access, and guarding against fraud and discrimination.

A citizen of the United States; A legal resident of Washington State ; At least 18 years old by Election Day; Not disqualified from voting due to a court order; and Not under Department of Corrections supervision for a Washington felony conviction. If you move or are temporarily away, you may maintain your voter registration at that address until you register to vote elsewhere.

If you are a United States citizen living abroad, you may use your last Washington address. If you were convicted of a felony in WashingtonState, your right to vote is restored as long as you are not under the authority (in prison or on community custody) of the Department of Corrections (DOC).

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If you were convicted of a felony in a Washington State court, your right to vote is restored unless you are currently under the authority of DOC (in prison or on community custody). Do not assume that a person under a guardianship due to their mental capacity is ineligible to vote.

If full guardianship was imposed before July 24, 2005, the person is not eligible to vote unless the court order specifically states otherwise. If partial guardianship was imposed before July 24, 2005, the person retains the right to vote unless the court order specifically states otherwise.

If full or partial guardianship was imposed on or after July 24, 2005, the person retains the right to vote unless the court order specifically states otherwise. Legislators in the state of Washington permit the provisional reinstatement of voting rights upon the completion of a sentence.

However, the sentencing court make take back said rights if a felon does not satisfy their legal financial responsibilities. If you are convicted of a felony in a state outside of Washington, you're voting rights are restored once you have served your sentence or a supervised release.

The Secretary of State’s office utilizes information furnished by the DOC and the court system to compile a list of eligible and ineligible voters. As long as you stay out of prison and make a good-faith effort toward the payment of court fees and costs, you will be able to vote.

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Any felon who willfully fails to make at least three payments within a year’s time, may have their voting rights revoked. You are eligible to re-register to vote in Washington if you are a US citizen, a legal resident of the state, will be at least 18 years old by a scheduled election date and have not been disqualified from the electoral process by a court order.

To establish your residency for voting, you must have been at your address for a minimum of 30 days before a scheduled election date. (1) For a felony conviction in a Washington state court, the right to vote is provisionally restored as long as the person is not under the authority of the department of corrections.

(2)(a) Once the right to vote has been provisionally restored, the sentencing court may revoke the provisional restoration of voting rights if the sentencing court determines that a person has willfully failed to comply with the terms of his or her order to pay legal financial obligations. (b) If the person has failed to make three payments in a twelve-month period and the county clerk or restitution recipient requests, the prosecutor shall seek revocation of the provisional restoration of voting rights from the court.

(3) If the court revokes the provisional restoration of voting rights, the revocation shall remain in effect until, upon motion by the person whose provisional voting rights have been revoked, the person shows that he or she has made a good faith effort to pay as defined in RCW 10.82.090. The Secretary of State or county auditor shall send to the person at his or her last known voter registration address and at the department of corrections, if the person is under the authority of the department, a notice of the proposed cancellation and an explanation of the requirements for provisionally and permanently restoring the right to vote and preregistering.

Generally, governors across the United States may exercise the executive authority to restore voting rights on an individual basis. In three states, voting rights were restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison and parole time: California, Connecticut, and New York.

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(Source: www.nytimes.com)

Voting rights are automatically restored to an individual with one felony conviction upon completion of his or her sentence. In 17 states and Washington, D.C., voting rights were restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of his or her prison sentence.

In 19 states, voting rights were restored to a convicted felon upon completion of his or her sentence, including prison time, parole, and probation. Voting rights are automatically restored to an individual with one felony conviction upon completion of his or her sentence.

California Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison and parole time. Colorado Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence.

Connecticut Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison and parole time. Hawaii Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence.

Illinois Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence. Indiana Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence.

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Iowa On August 5, 2021, Governor Kim Reynolds ® issued an executive order restoring voting rights to felons upon completion of their sentences, including prison time, parole, and probation. A state law that took effect in 2019 enabled felons who had not been incarcerated within the last five years to have their voting rights restored unless they were convicted of an election offense.

Maryland Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence. Massachusetts Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence.

Michigan Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence. Montana Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence.

Nebraska Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon two years after completion of his or her sentence. Nevada Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence.

New Hampshire Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence. New Jersey Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence.

(Source: www.yahoo.com)

New York Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison and parole time. North Dakota Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence.

Ohio Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence. Oregon Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence.

Pennsylvania Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence. Rhode Island Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence.

Utah Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence. Sentence includes prison time, parole and probation. Note: State law provides for the permanent disenfranchisement of convicted felons unless voting rights are restored individually by the governor or another appropriate entity.

In 2016, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced his plan “to issue individual restorations for citizens who have completed the terms of their sentence, including probation and parole.” West Virginia Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon upon completion of his or her sentence.

(Source: davidharrisjr.com)

Estimated number of disenfranchised felons by state, 2016 State Number of disenfranchised felons Total voting age population Felon disenfranchisement rate Alabama 286,2663,755,4837.62% Alaska 14,439552,1662.61% Arizona 221,1705,205,2154.25% Arkansas 66, 7052,272,9042.93% California 222,55730,023,9020.74% Colorado 30, 9464,199,5090.74% Connecticut 17, 3452,826,8270.61% Delaware 15,716741,5482.12% Florida 1,686,31816,166,14310.43% Georgia 248,7517,710,6883.23% Hawaii 6,3641,120,7700.57% Idaho 23, 1061,222,0931.89% Illinois 49, 6259,901,3220.50% Iowa 52, 0122,395,1032.17% Indiana 29, 6585,040,2240.59% Kansas 17, 5942,192,0840.80% Kentucky 312,0463,413,4259.14% Louisiana 108,0353,555,9113.04% Maine 01,072,9480.00% Maryland 21, 4654,658,1750.46% Massachusetts 11, 1765,407,3350.21% Michigan 44, 2217,715,2720.57% Minnesota 63, 3404,205,2071.51% Mississippi 218,1812,265,4859.63% Missouri 89, 6654,692,1961.91% Montana 4,146806,5290.51% North Carolina 91, 1797,752,2341.18% North Dakota 2,178583,0010.37% Nebraska 17, 5641,425,8531.23% Nevada 89, 2672,221,6814.02% New Hampshire 3,0311,066,6100.28% New Jersey 94, 3156,959,1921.36% New Mexico 24, 2861,588,2011.53% New York 97,58115,584,9740.63% Ohio 52, 8378,984,9460.59% Oklahoma 58, 3022,950,0171.98% Oregon 14, 7483,166,1210.47% Pennsylvania 52,97410,112,2290.52% Rhode Island 3,355845,2540.40% South Carolina 47, 2383,804,5581.24% South Dakota 10,392647,1451.61% Tennessee 421,2275,102,6888.26% Texas 495,92820,257,3432.45% Utah 7,6692,083,4230.37% Vermont 0506,1190.00% Virginia 508,6806,512,5717.81% Washington 48, 5525,558,5090.87% West Virginia 14, 7271,464,5321.01% Wisconsin 65, 6064,476,7111.47% Wyoming 23,847447,2125.33% United States total 6,106,327 247,219,588 2.47% Source: The Sentencing Project, “6 Million Lost Voters: State -Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016,” accessed June 21, 2019, Whether voting rights should be automatically restored to those convicted of felonies and whether those individuals should be able to vote while incarcerated are subjects of debate. “The right to vote can be restored to felons, but it should be done carefully, on a case-by-case basis after a person has shown that he or she has really turned over a new leaf, not automatically on the day someone walks out of prison.

In particular, they create significant limitations on full democratic participation by citizens, run counter to efforts to promote public safety, and exacerbate existing inequalities in the criminal justice system. “All but two states, Maine and Vermont, take away the right of felons to vote when they are convicted and are serving their sentences.

As a federal judge said in 2002 in an unsuccessful case challenging Florida’s disenfranchisement law, felons are deprived of their ability to vote because of 'their own decision to commit an act for which they assume the risks of detection and punishment. The link below is to the most recent stories in a Google News search for the terms Felon criminal voting rights.

1.0 1.1 National Conference of State Legislatures, “Felon Voting Rights,” October 14, 2019 2.0 2.1 American Civil Liberties Union, State Criminal Re-enfranchisement Laws,” accessed May 26, 2015 3.0 3.1 Brennan Center for Justice, “Restoring the Right to Vote by State, ” March 27, 2014 This tally includes Nebraska, which restores voting rights two years after completion of a felon's sentence. It also includes Virginia, where Governors Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam have used their clemency powers to effect this policy (state law provides for permanent disenfranchisement of felons).

Reynolds signs Executive Order to restore voting rights of felons who have completed their sentence,” August 5, 2021 Kentucky Governor, “Related to the Restoration of Civil Rights for Convicted Felons, ” December 12, 2019 Mexican, “Louisiana House Bill 265,” accessed December 12, 2019 New York Attorney General, “Voting Rights,” accessed October 24, 2018 On April 18, 2018, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed an executive order providing for the restoration of voting rights to convicted felons released into parole supervision.

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According to the order, “each individual on the eligible list will be reviewed to determine whether he or she will be granted a pardon that will restore voting rights.” National Review, “Virginia Governor Announces Right to Vote Restored for Over 22k Felons, ” October 10, 2019 The Sentencing Project, “6 Million Lost Voters: State -Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016,” accessed June 21, 2019 The Sentencing Project, “Felony Disenfranchisement: A Primer,” June 27, 2019 New York Times, “If You Can ’t Follow Laws, You Shouldn’t Help Make Them,” April 22, 2016 Maker, Marc.

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