Can a Felon Vote in Ohio?

Ohio was once occupied by French colonists before it became an official State on March 1, 1803. The state compromises lake regions and was named after one. Ohio holds a total population of 11,614,373 in 2016 and is currently the 7th state with the largest population in the US.

As of 2015, it was confirmed that the total population of inmates in Ohio was 52 333. The number of offenders in the state increased to 15.1% from the year 2005 up to 2016. Meanwhile, in 2009, it was discovered that more than 80% of the offenders were male.

Most democratic countries consider all citizens above the age of 18 as qualified voters. Since elections happen regularly, it is important to have a sustainable and significant number of voters who will be choosing the next representatives of the state.

Can Felons Vote in Ohio?

Forfeiture of civil rights is given to offenders convicted for felony. The nature of the offense does not affect the verdict.

The state of Ohio allows not fully convicted felons to vote. However, by the time the offender is proven guilty, his or her voting right is automatically removed.

In Ohio, an incarcerated felon is restricted to participating in voting elections. Meanwhile, felons under parole and probation may vote.

Once the sentence is served, a felon restores his or her voting rights. By then, he will be allowed to re-register.

How Can Felons Restore Voting Right in Ohio?

Only after the restoration of civil rights can a felon gain the privilege to vote. Similar to other states, Ohio does not permanently remove the rights of citizenships of felons.

  • A felon must complete his or her sentence period to attain a certificate of discharge from the court of justice. This certificate supports all the necessary documents needed to restore civil rights.
  • Registration is part of a democratic policy. A felon must wait 30 days after discharge to be allowed to register.
  • A felon who participates in any illegal behaviors during the election will not be an eligible voter. Once a felon is convicted as a voter fraud, he or she can never participate in any elections.

Although Ohio does restore the voting rights of these felons, the behavior of these criminals even after release creates an impact on the situation.


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