Disenfranchisement Law and Legal Definition

Disenfranchisement is the taking away of voting rights. Most states in the U.S. have enacted laws disenfranchising convicted felons and ex-felons. Laws vary by state, with some state denying voting rights to all felons, only certain felons, felons on probation, felons on parole, felons serving sentences, or a combination of the above.

As of this writing, 48 states and the District of Columbia prohibit inmates from voting while incarcerated for a felony offense. Only two states, Maine and Vermont, allow inmates to vote. 35 states prohibit felons from voting while they are on parole and 31 of these states exclude felony probationers as well.