Felony Disenfranchisement and the 2000 and 2004 Presidential Election Results in Florida

"In the last two presidential races, voters gave almost equal support to Democratic and Republican candidates; in 2004 less than 2.5 percentage points separated President Bush and Senator Kerry and the margin in 2000 between then-Governor Bush and Vice-President Gore was less than half a percentage point. Even more startling, as shown in Table 1, in 2000, the margin between Vice-President Al Gore and Governor George W. Bush was less than 6000 votes in four states. In this contentious political climate voting rights and participation have taken on even greater significance and more Americans are paying attention to how policies affecting offenders in turn affect the electorate. To date, this concern is reflected by the emerging debate over the disfranchisement of felons, an issue that has received much attention from interest groups, media outlets, and politicians. In particular, much of this attention was directed at Florida, a state that permanently disfranchises individuals convicted of felonies."

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Burch, Traci, "Did Disfranchisement Laws Help Elect President Bush? A Closer Look at the Characteristics and Preferences of Florida's Ex-Felons," Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth (Chicago, IL: Northwestern University School of Law: November 3, 2008), p 2.
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