Can a Felon Vote in Oregon?

Present-day Oregon is part of the Oregon Territory which used to be claimed by different powers aside from the US including Great Britain, Spain, and Russia. The Oregon territory extended from the Pacific coast to the Rocky Mountains which also covered Washington and most of British Columbia. Oregon boundary disputes persisted until June 18, 1846 when the senate finally signed a treaty between the US and Great Britain. Oregon later entered the Union on February 14, 1859 and presently has approximately 4 million total populations.

As of January 1, 2017, there are 14,617 inmates according to the Oregon Department of Corrections. There is a greater male population of 13,332 compared to 1,285 female inmates. The age range is from 18 to over 61 years old with inmates mostly in the range of 31 to 45 years old. The demographics also reflected various races including Asian (209), Black (1,334), Hispanic (1,801), American Indian (362), White (10,907), and Pacific Islander (2).

The US has always been among those who fight for and promote democracy through equal rights including suffrage. Equal rights would mean involving every concerned and capable citizen in the society without discrimination. This should then include felons who have redeemed themselves by going through their sentences and serving their paroles accordingly. We should remember that correctional systems are not supposed to condemn individuals but to help them recover from their offences with an ultimate goal of reintroducing them into our society as functional citizens.

Can Felons Vote in Oregon?

The right to vote is extended to felons with consideration of various conditions. Overall, only the states of Maine and Vermont continue to allow the right to vote even for convicted felons while still in prison but the rest generally prohibit voting while an offender is under incarceration.

In some states, it is possible for a felon to permanently lose vote depending on the state’s laws, the offender’s crime, and even how much time was spent for the offender’s sentence completion.

In some cases, felons can still have their right to vote restored after their incarceration, parole service, probation, or a combination of all.

According to the Oregon Voter Bill of Rights, a US citizen living in Oregon, 18 years of age, and have been a registered voter, continues to have the right to vote even after being convicted of a felony once they have been released from custody. This applies regardless if the person is still under probation or serving parole.

How Felons Can Restore Voting Rights in Oregon?

For Oregon, it has been indicated that voting rights are restored for a person convicted of a felony only when they are released from incarceration. This condition however requires the person to re-register to regain their eligibility to vote. Note that Oregon’s New Motor Voter Act does not change any of the previous conditions for voting ex-offenders.


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