In Locked Out: Felon Disenfranchisement and American Democracy, Jeff Manza and Chris Uggen discuss the implications of state laws that bar convicted felons from voting, some even after their release and completion of all parole or probation requirements. The result? Over 5 million Americans are prohibited from participating in the democratic process.
But because African Americans are disproportionately likely to be in prison, they are particularly affected by the restriction of voting rights. The Prison Policy Initiative posted this map by Uggen and Manza showing the percent of voting-age African Americans in each state prevented from voting in 2000 as a result of a felony conviction:
For a thorough discussion of the history and consequences of laws barring felons from voting, see Uggen’s excellent Felon Disenfranchisement site.