Over 70 million Americans have a criminal record which create significant difficulties for employment, financial stability, and successful reentry into society. The Legal and regulatory restrictions they face limit employment search, housing, voting, education, business licensing, and other basic opportunities. Point is, these barriers cause nearly 75 percent of people who were incarcerated to still be unemployed or unable to vote a year after being released.
A good example of the effects of being convicted is in the state of North Carolina, people who have been convicted of a felony lose their right to vote. Not just during their incarceration but also throughout the probation and post-release supervision periods. This strips away their right to take full part in the democratic process and their ability to be heard on the policy decisions that affect their lives.
Every new election cycle provides an opportunity to improve the access to vote for people who are eligible among the 549,000 people in U.S. jails. The majority of persons in our jails are eligible to vote if they’re not serving time for a felony, as long as they are incarcerated pre-trial or sentenced to a misdemeanor offense. Regardless of this information this goes back the barriers ex-cons face when trying to vote. Misinformation, institutional bureaucracy which vary from county to county are just a few barriers causing people to go unheard.