Can a Felon Vote in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin was admitted to the union on May 29, 1848 as the 30th state, with Madison as its state capital. It ranks as 23rd in terms of land area and 20th in terms of population.

Currently, 34,800 are in state prisons, which accounts for around 0.6% of its entire population. The most popular crimes in Wisconsin include murder, rape, robberies, and property crimes. Among violent crimes, only 50% are solved in 2009.

Although felon voting laws are a state prerogative, all states must embody the same democratic principles when talking about disenfranchising criminals. The state must allow them to cast their vote as a form of democratic practice, especially for the incarcerated.

Can Felons Vote in Wisconsin?

In the state of Wisconsin, felons are temporarily disenfranchised during their term of incarceration. As such, they are temporarily banned from influencing or making their voice known through their ballots during the elections.

Nonetheless, Wisconsin maintains that they are still citizens of the state and of America, and are entitled to have their voting rights back after serving their sentence. In this way, ex-felons are treated with fairness and justice.

Similarly, felons under probation and parole are only required to finish their legal sentence. Afterwards, they resume their life as normal citizens of the state.

Thus, overall, the state provides no hindrances for ex-felons to express their political opinion once they are off bars. 19 other states follow the same view on the justice system and the rehabilitative nature of prison to felons.

How Felons Can Restore Voting Rights in Wisconsin?

Technically, the state automatically restores ex-felon’s voting rights. As such, there are no special procedures or required documents before they are allowed to vote in the next elections.

However, they have to re-register as a voter in their state to re-enlist their name. Although several states follow the same felon voting law, each of them has distinct procedures for re-registration. Specifically, the re-registration procedure of the state of Wisconsin is as follows:

  • Register online through the website of Wisconsin Election Commission, or in-person through the Wisconsin Local Municipal Office
  • Accomplish the voter’s registration form and certify that one is free from any legal sentence or supervision
  • Present a proof of residence to the registration officer

Sources

http://elections.wi.gov/sites/default/files/publication/154/voting_guide_for_ex_felons_incarcerated_voters_pd_24428.pdf

http://elections.wi.gov/node/2473

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