Poll: 56% of voters believe voting should be a guaranteed right - including for prisoners

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Stand Up America, State Innovation Exchange, The Sentencing Project, and Common Cause recently released new national polling revealing 56% of voters believe voting should be a guaranteed right for all. 

Respondents supported full restoration of voting rights to all citizens over the age of 18, including those completing a sentence, inside and outside of prison.  

“Guaranteeing the right to vote for all citizens, including those who are incarcerated, keeps people involved in their communities and gives justice impacted citizens a political stake in them when they return home. If citizenship does not stop at the prison gates, neither should the right to vote. 

“It’s time for our country to reject the remnants of Jim Crow and commit to safer, more equitable communities,” said Reggie Thedford, deputy political director of Stand Up America.  

In addition to strong overall support, younger voters, Black and Latino voters favored voting rights restoration with 65%, 71%, and 67% support, respectively. 

The polling also oversampled 200 likely voters in Illinois, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, and Oregon – all states with recent or ongoing efforts to restore voting rights to justice impacted individuals. 

Voters in the U.S. are ready for all citizens of this country to be eligible to vote no matter their relationship with the criminal justice system. 

Although many voters aren’t aware of the laws in their states around voting rights, the majority of them across the nation believe that every citizen should be eligible for and have the right to vote. 

The polling shows increased support from previous state and national polling on voting being a guaranteed right. The Huffington Post conducted a 2018 poll about guaranteeing voting rights for justice impacted individuals with minimal support across the board. 

Additional top linesof the poll include:  

Voters who have a work connection (either themselves or a family member) to the criminal legal system, and voters who have a personal connection (either themselves or a family member) to being involved in the criminal legal system also had greater support for all citizens guaranteed the right to vote at 64% support and 72% support, respectively.

34% of respondents said they don’t know if citizens in their state who are incarcerated can vote, and another 33% say the same about citizens with past felony convictions.

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