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Encyclopedia > Disfranchisement

Disfranchisement or disenfranchisement is the revocation of, or failure to grant, the right of suffrage (the right to vote) to a person or group of people. Disfranchisement may occur explicitly through law, or implicitly through means such as intimidation. Image File history File links Nuvola_apps_browser. ...

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Disfranchisement due to criminal conviction

Many countries and many U.S. states intentionally disfranchise people based on criminal conviction by law. For many jurisdictions that do, usually a person is disfranchised after being sentenced to a penalty above some limit—for example, 6 months—for only as long as he or she is serving the sentence. A state of the United States (U.S. state) is any one of the fifty states, four of which officially favor the term commonwealth which, along with the District of Columbia, form the United States of America. ...


In 13 U.S. states, persons convicted of a felony—that is, a crime punishable with a year's imprisonment or more—are denied the vote only while serving sentence in a state prison. Texas has a similar law, but extends the disfranchisement period two years after release from custody. A felony, in many common law legal systems, is the term for a very serious crime; misdemeanors are considered to be less serious. ... Official language(s) None. ...


One felony conviction results in perpetual disfranchisement in 13 U.S. states, and in Arizona and Maryland two convictions have the same consequence. In addition to these 15 states and Texas, 13 others also disfranchise persons who are on probation for a felony but were not sentenced to prison time. All of these plus three more states (or 32 in all) disqualify those on parole from voting. Official language(s) None Capital Phoenix Largest city Phoenix Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 6th 295,254 km² 500 km 645 km 0. ... Official language(s) None Capital Annapolis Largest city Baltimore Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 42nd 32,160 km² 145 km 400 km 21 37°53N to 39°43N 75°4W to 79°33W Population  - Total (2000)  - Density Ranked 19th 5,296,486 165... Probation is the suspension of a prison or jail sentence - the criminal who is on probation has been convicted of a crime, but instead of serving prison time, has been found by the Court to be amenable to probation and will be returned to the community for a period in... Parole can have different meanings depending on the context. ...


Some states consider dishonorable discharge a felony conviction and disfranchise those affected. A military discharge is given when a member of the armed forces is released from their obligation to serve. ...


Two states—Maine and Vermont—allow prison inmates to vote unless disfranchisement is meted out as a separate punishment. [1] Official language(s) None Capital Augusta Largest city Portland Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 39th 86,542 km² 305 km 515 km 13. ... Official language(s) None Capital Montpelier Largest city Burlington Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 43rd 24,923 km² 130 km 260 km 3. ...


Those affected are usually prohibited from voting in federal elections as well, even though their convictions were at the state level for state crimes, not federal crimes. This means that states with permanent disfranchisement prevent ex-convicts from ever voting in federal elections, even though ex-convicts in other states convicted of identical crimes may be allowed to vote in such elections.


Some countries, such as China, Portugal and Israel, disfranchisement due to criminal conviction is an exception, meted out separately or alone. This is usually imposed on a person convicted of a crime against the state (see civil death) or one related to election or public office. Civil death is a term that refers to the loss of all or almost all civil rights by a person due to a conviction for a felony or due to an act by the government of a country that results in the loss of civil rights. ...


In the United Kingdom, all convicts are denied the right to vote while in prison. This is, however, under review, following an October 2005 ruling of the European Court of Human Rights that a blanket ban is disproportionate. The review is still underway, but Lord Falconer, the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs has stated that it may result in some, but not all, prisoners being able to vote. [2] Look up October in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg The European Court of Human Rights, often referred to informally as the Strasbourg Court, was created to systematise the hearing of human rights complaints from Council of Europe member states. ... Charles Leslie Falconer, Baron Falconer of Thoroton, PC (born November 19, 1951), is a British lawyer and Labour Party politician. ... The Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs is a United Kingdom cabinet position. ...


Disfranchisement due to criminal conviction (otherwise than for electoral offences) is discussed extensively in the website of the Sentencing Project [3], an organization concerned with reducing prison sentences and ameliorating some of the negative effects of incarceration. Although the information provided by this organization is biased against various practices, the website provides a wealth of statistical data that reflects data available from organizations with opposing views, and from the United States government and various state governments. The Sentencing Project promotes more effective and humane alternatives to prison for criminal offenders. ...


Disfranchisement of other groups

Another example is the disfranchisement of entire groups of people, such as women, various racial, ethnic or religious minorities depending on the country, or members of some political groups. This has led to warfare, as in the case of the American Revolutionary War (the cry "No taxation without representation" conveys this message). This is a good example of the intentional disfranchisement of a group of people (British colonists in America) by the government in Britain. Similarly, the US citizens of Puerto Rico are subjected to all U.S. laws and are conscripted to fight in US wars, but they have no Congress representation or the vote in presidential elections. Image of a woman on the Pioneer plaque sent to outer space. ... Combatants American Revolutionaries, France, Netherlands, Spain, Native Americans Great Britain, German mercenaries, Loyalists, Native Americans Commanders George Washington, Comte de Rochambeau, Nathanael Greene William Howe, Henry Clinton, Charles Cornwallis (more commanders) The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence,[1] was a conflict that... No taxation without representation was a rallying cry for advocates of American independence from Great Britain in the eighteenth century. ... Motto: E pluribus unum (1789 to present) (Latin: Out of Many, One) In God We Trust (1956 to present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York Official language(s) None at federal level; English de facto Government • President • Vice President Federal republic George W...


Voters in the District of Columbia, the U.S. capital, are subject to a partial disfranchisement: they are not been represented in Congress. Until the passage of the Twenty-Third Amendment in 1961, they did not get to vote in presidential elections. Prior to the District of Columbia Home Rule Act in 1973, they did not elect their own mayor. ... Congress in Joint Session. ... Amendment XXIII (the Twenty-third Amendment) of the United States Constitution permits the District of Columbia to choose Electors for President and Vice President. ... The District of Columbia Home Rule Act is an act of theU.S. Congress passed in 1973. ...


An example of unintentional disfranchisement of a group of people is expounded by supporters of the U.S. Electoral College. Briefly, supporters feel that strict majority vote would disfranchise the mostly rural American West, by denying them the ability to ever influence an election due to their small numbers. This would be unintentional disfranchisement as it is an effect of the change, not a direct goal of the change in voting law. The United States Electoral College is the electoral college that chooses the President and Vice President of the United States at the conclusion of each Presidential election. ...


In proportional representation systems which use election thresholds, parties which fail to meet the specified thresholds often claim that their supporters have been disenfranchised since their votes do not translate into any legislative seats, and thus effectively do not count. Proportional representation, also known as full representation, is an electoral system in which the overall votes are reflected in the overall outcome of the body or bodies of representatives. ... In party-list proportional representation systems, an election threshold is a clause that stipulates that a party must receive a minimum percentage of votes, either nationally or within a particular district, to get any seats in the parliament. ...


Notes

  1.   "Election Readiness…"
  2.   Convicts 'will not all get vote', BBC News, 6 October 2005, accessed 9 Dec 2005.
  3.   SentencingProject.org

The current BBC News logo BBC News and Current Affairs (sometimes abbreviated BBC NCA) is a major arm of the BBC responsible for the corporations newsgathering and production of news programmes on BBC television, radio and online. ...

See also

Lishenets (Russian: лишенец), literally translated as disenfranchised, was a person stripped of the right of voting in the Soviet Union of 1918 — 1936. ...

References

  • "Election Readiness: It Is Never Too Late for Transparency", October 2004, from Fair Election International (FEI), a project of Global Exchange, quoted in part in AfricaFocus Bulletin Oct 26, 2004

  Results from FactBites:
 
Disfranchisement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (897 words)
Disfranchisement or disenfranchisement is the revocation of, or failure to grant, the right of suffrage (the right to vote) to a person or group of people.
This means that states with permanent disfranchisement prevent ex-convicts from ever voting in federal elections, even though ex-convicts in other states convicted of identical crimes may be allowed to vote in such elections.
Another example is the disfranchisement of entire groups of people, such as women, various racial, ethnic or religious minorities depending on the country, or members of some political groups.
Message (761 words)
No surprise that felony disfranchisement laws have their roots in the Jim Crow tradition, which produced poll taxes, literacy tests, and other racially biased schemes for diluting fl voting power.
Disfranchisement has a devastating impact on the voting strength of the African American and Latino communities.
This disparate impact takes on special significance because of the recent admission by public officials in New Jersey that the grossly disproportionate number of minority citizens in the state's prisons is, in significant part, a consequence of racial profiling.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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