Evidence gathered by friends at the University of Washington — sociologists Katherine Beckett and Bob Crutchfield — played a key role in overturning Washington’s law banning incarcerated felons from voting. Much of the litigation to date has focused on former felons who have completed their sentences, rather than current inmates. The case, Farrakhan v. Gregoire, was decided on January 5, 2010.
Having spent a few years doing expert witness work on this issue, I know that it takes good social science evidence, lucid presentation, and dogged persistence to prevail in such cases. The ruling will likely be appealed, but it represents a major step toward a more inclusive democracy.