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51 U. Tol. L. Rev. 389 (2019-2020)
Do the Crime, Do the Time - And Then Some: Problems with Felon Disenfranchisement and Possible Solutions

handle is hein.journals/utol51 and id is 405 raw text is: 

                        POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

                                  Erin Kelly *


     F   ROM its founding, America has idealized and emphasized citizen
         engagement   and the agency of citizens in their governance through the
right to vote. In fact, the United States Supreme Court has stated that [n]o right is
more  precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those
who  make   the laws.' Though   voting is one  of the basic rights of being  an
American  citizen and the threshold to participation in democracy, over 6.1 million
Americans   are prohibited from  voting due  to felon disenfranchisement  laws.2
Felon disenfranchisement  laws prohibit an American  citizen from voting because
of a prior felony conviction, regardless of how relevant said felony is to the right,
ability, or competency to vote.3 The deprivation of one's right to vote is a collateral
consequence  that alienates individuals convicted of a felony, even after they are
supposed  to have  repaid their debt to society.4 Though Americans  believe that
those who  do the crime, do the time, felon disenfranchisement  statutes ensure
that former felons continue to be isolated and punished even after they have left
their jail cells.

    *  First, I would like to thank my faculty advisor, Professor Gregory Gilchrist, for his guidance
and candor in the process of drafting this Note. Thank you also to Professor Kenneth Kilbert and
Professor Elizabeth McCuskey for consulting on essential components of this Note. Second, I would
like to thank my family, who has encouraged me throughout the Note process and is my eternal
support system. Third, I would like to thank my law school mentors and role models, Bre Hitchen,
Tom  Kirkham, and Lindsey Self, who have inspired me with their brilliance, kindness, and work
ethics. Lastly, thank you to the University of Toledo Law Review Boards 50 and 51, whose work
and dedication makes this publication possible.
    1. Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1, 17 (1964).
    2. Jean Chung,  Felony Disenfranchisement: A Primer, THE SENTENCING  PROJECT,
https://www.sentencingproject.org/publications/felony-disenfranchisement-a-primer/ (last updated
June 2019) (comparing the rising rate of felon disenfranchisement from 1.17 million in 1976 to 6.1
million today).
    3. Chung, supra note 2. See also Criminal Disenfranchisement Laws Across the United States,
BRENNAN  CENTER FOR JUSTICE, https://www.brennancenter.org/criminal-disenfranchisement-laws-
across-united-states (last updated May 31, 2019) (listing the various forms of felon
disenfranchisement laws by state).
    4. Eli Hager, Six States Where Felons Can't Get Food Stamps, THE MARSHALL PROJECT (Feb.
4, 2016), https://www.themarshallproject.org/2016/02/04/six-states-where-felons-can-t-get-food-


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