Can a Felon Vote in New Jersey?

New Jersey, which is the 47th biggest in the US, was established as a state on December 18, 1787. The current population as of the latest census is 8944469.

The average prison population has reached 540 out of 100,000 of the adult population in New Jersey. This means that 0.54% of the population is felons. Most of the inmates are male and black Americans.

Right to vote is a reassurance of a democratic country which leads to a stronger nation. It is the freedom to unite what is commonly decided by the people on how they want the government to be.

Can Felons Vote in New Jersey?

New Jersey allows mentally incompetent people to vote but does not allow felons as it is believed that they are not competent to provide right judgment. They also have to serve their punishment and consequences for their wrong actions.

Since felony is intended to be punished, the felons are not allowed to vote from the beginning up to the end of their sentence.

The felons under parole or probation are also denied of their right to vote. The reinstatement of rights is only given once they are released.

Meanwhile, some leniency is given to people who are just serving time due to minor misdemeanor or slight civil matter.

How Felons Can Restore Voting Rights in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the felons can re-register to be able to vote in local and national elections once they have served their time for parole and probation and finally released from prison. The following should be done for them to regain this right.

  • the felon should go to the city clerk’s office to re-register.
  • the standard registration form should be filled out
  • the felon should show a proof of identification
  • the felon should show a proof of their age, domicile and citizenship status

Though regaining their rights to vote and avail their freedom rights, there are cases that right to vote are not granted to felons and most of these cases are due to racial discrimination.

Sources

http://www.ag.ny.gov/civilrights/votingrights

https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/population_statistics.jsp

http://www.scoc.ny.gov/pop.htm

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