Most Americans think released felons should have the vote

April 26, 2016, 1:57 PM GMT+0

Most Americans, including a majority of both Democrats and Republicans, think ex-convicts should be allowed to vote after their release

This week the governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, restored the right to vote to over 200,000 people in Virginia who had permanently lost the right to vote because they had once been convicted of a felony. The issue of voting rights for ex-convicts is a contentious one, with state laws varying hugely on the issue. While two northeastern states, Maine and Vermont, allow people who are currently in prison to vote, in ten other states, such as Florida, former convicts risk permanently losing their right to vote.

YouGov's latest research shows that most Americans (54%) agree that ex-felons should have their right to vote restored once they complete their sentences. 20% think that, even in prison, convicted criminals should still have the right to vote while only 18% say that they should permanently lose the right to vote. Most Democrats (51%) and Republicans (53%) agree that released convicts should not be deprived of their right to vote.

Most Americans (53%) do, however, think that former felons should be permanently excluded from sitting on juries.

Full poll results can be found here and topline results and margin of error here.