Can a Felon Vote in Delaware?

Delaware is known as the first state of America. It became one on the 7th of December, 1787. Its capital, Dover, has a population of around 37,366 as of 2013. With a total area of 2,491 square miles, it is known as the second smallest state in America.

Due to Delaware’s small overall population, its combined prison facilities amount to 5,624 total inmates. Inclusion of community corrections facilities, state hospitals and interstate compacts add up to 6,883.

Felons, just like other people, should be given a second chance by the government. This will be seen in their restored rights to vote.

Can Felons Vote in Delaware?

Unlike most states in America, there are laws in Delaware that can prevent a once-convicted felon from voting.

This is if a person is convicted with a disqualifying felony, which is outlined and defined in the state’s constitution.

If a person is not convicted of a disqualifying felony, they are still unable to vote during their prison time.

As soon as a person finished parole and prison time, they can restore their right to vote once again (exclusion of special cases). Another special case, aside from committing a disqualifying felony, is the requirement of a formal pardon for crimes such as murder and sex offenses.

How Felons Can Restore Voting Rights in Delaware

If you are convicted of a disqualifying felony, it will not be possible for you to restore your voting rights, which in truth, should not be the case if one is to use the laws of other states which do not take away voting rights lifelong. In the case that you may still gain back your right to vote, make sure to:

  • Contact the Department of Elections so they may check your qualifications before having you registered as a voter
  • Check the type of crime you have committed and make sure this is not disqualified in the Constitution

This difference in Delaware’s constitution is what sets them apart from other states regarding the potential for one to become a lifelong non-voter.

Sources

http://delaware.gov

http://www.cjc.delaware.gov/pdf/DOCPopulations_00toJun09.pdf#search=prison%20population

http://elections.delaware.gov/voter/felons.shtml

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