Convicted Felons Can Vote

I always thought that convicted felons could not vote. I even heard on a national talk show a guy joking about felons not being able to vote. A friend of mine convicted for non-payment of child support thinks he cannot vote.


Well, when talking to a convicted felon who works at a local grocery store Wink about the upcoming election, he informed me that he inquired about his voting status and was told that they make exceptions. That didn't sound right to me, what, they make exceptions for ex-politicians! So I came home and looked it up. Here's what I found.

If You Have Been Convicted Of A Felony

A person currently serving time in prison for a felony conviction cannot register to vote or vote. Additionally, a person who has twice been convicted of a violation of the elections laws is permanently barred from voting in Ohio. An otherwise qualified person convicted of a misdemeanor may vote, and one convicted of a felony may register and vote while on probation or parole or after completing his or her sentence. Ohio law does not permit convicted felons to work as poll workers.

Has this always been Ohio law or have they changed it and I didn't know about it?


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Ohio is one of a total of 12 states, plus the Washington DC, where ex-felons regain voting rights after being released from prison. Here's a state-by-state breakdown:

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