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Getting your voting rights restored after a conviction

Louisiana has the highest rate of incarceration in the United States.

Louisiana has the highest rate of incarceration in the United States.

Louisiana has more people in jail per capita than any other state in the Union. The United States has the largest number of people in prison per capita than any other country in the world. Conviction on felony charges brings with it a loss of the right to vote.

So, large numbers of Louisiana residents with prison records could be eligible to regain their right to vote. The catch? Those ex-fellons have to seek to have their voting rights restored.

In Louisiana, felons lose their voting rights for the time they are in jail, plus time on probation, as well as time on parole. Louisiana is one of 19 states having the time+probation+parole rule.

That can be a long time, but once that time is done, the process for regaining those rights is pretty straight forward. Felons who have served their time, probation and parole can get their rights restored by bring the appropriate Department of Corrections documents showing they are no longer under sentence with them to the local Clerk of Courts/Registrar of Voters office.

Ironically, the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office does not have a specific page dealing with restoring the voting rights of felons despite the fact that we have so many felons in our state.

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Originally published: Oct 9, 2012