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The right to vote for a felony convicted person depends on the states in the USA. Almost all the states restrict the felons to the right to vote. Moreover, in some states, felons can restore their voting rights. After completing the sentence, it can only be possible to release from incarceration and fulfill other requirements.

One will have to follow the state laws when it comes to restoring voting rights. However, in some states in the USA, felons can have voting rights even if they are under parole.

Mind the State Laws for Voting Rights

The right to vote follows the state laws where the individual was convicted of a crime. Talking about the states where people don’t lose the right to vote are Maine and Vermont. It goes for ex-offenders as well as for people with incarceration. The method followed in these states is that the people can vote by absentee ballot using their addresses.

Meanwhile, other states in the USA place restrictions on felony Conviction individuals. They fall under the following categories:

  • An individual loses the right to vote if incarcerated for a felony crime
  • Individual cannot vote until the completion of their felony sentence
  • The individual loses the right to vote after completion of a felony sentence

States Restricting the Right to Vote with Incarceration

When it comes to the states restricting the right to vote for felons, there are almost 18 to 20 of them. The condition here is that the offenders are incarcerated. It means they have gone to jail, state prisons, or federal prisons and served a time in there. Talking about California state, it doesn’t put restrictions on voting rights while serving in county jail.

After Completion of Sentence

Felons don’t get the option of voting unless and until their completion of the sentence is approved. Here the sentence time includes incarceration as well as the time on parole. This rule applies to almost 18 to 20 states in the USA. Further, some states also demand the felons pay outstanding court fees and legal fines.

What about the Indefinite Completion of the Sentence?

Some states restrict the rights to vote for a felon-convict individual. Whereas some states require that the person should be given a time after the sentence term is over. Meanwhile, some states do have rules that follow some government’s approval. However, the individuals who have been convicted of violent crimes are permanently revoked from their voting rights.

Note: Talking about the state laws, they can change based on the government’s decisions. The felons need to update their knowledge about the changes. Based on the changes, they can be able to vote.

How the Felons Come to Know about Their Voting Rights Restoration?

The state laws are bound to restore the voting rights for felons. However, this can take place either automatically or based on some conditions.

Automatic Restoration of Voting Rights

When it comes to the automatic restoration of voting rights, the felons are given a chance right upon being released. They have completed their sentence term and released from incarceration charges. No other action is required, and the felon can register themselves to vote.

Conditional Restoration based on Factors

Here, the restoration of voting rights is based on some factors for the felons. Some additional steps are to be taken, such as the felon will require to apply for a certificate of eligibility. This certificate states the offender can register to vote. For this, the individual will have to seek a court order or a pardon from the respective authority.

Talking further about the restoration process, some of the departments in the states inform the felons. Meanwhile, it is up to the best careers for convicted felons individuals to find out about their voting rights status. The restoration is purely based on the criminal history of a person as well as the state laws.

Do You Have Voting Rights While Held In Jail?

There may be several individuals who are being held in jail for trial. They may be detainees or misdemeanors. Individuals without a felony conviction are still eligible for voting rights. States like Maine and Vermont provide the inmates to vote even if they are jailed with a felony.


It is up to the states how they treat the felons for the right to vote. Further, you already read about the process and which states offer relaxation. Make sure that the felons should focus on the resources of restoring their voting rights.

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