There’s no easy way to estimate the number of convicted felons in the US. According to some statistics there are approximately 900,000 in the state of Michigan alone. So, let’s just say that there are 200,000 in each of the other 49 states. That number is really random and isn’t based in fact, but I thought there might actually be that many give or take a few hundred thousand in each state. There are two states where no matter what felons couldn’t vote so we will subtract them from the total. That gives us 200,000 convicted felons in the remaining 47 states for a total of 9.4 million convicted felons living in states where, if they have served their time and completed their probation or parole (and in some states a few other stipulations), they can vote on November 6,2012. Think about the impact that could have on the election. With faulty math and all, the reality is there is good sense in the logic.
There is potentially a group of voters out there that could have a huge impact on the outcome of the 2012 election. The reality is that they probably won’t.
According to a 2007 study by The Sentencing Project, in North Carolina people with felony convictions have lower registration and turnout rates than people who have never been convicted. This is both before and after their convictions. Additionally, 29 percent of people convicted of felonies were registered to vote prior to being convicted of their first felony, compared with 65 percent of the general population.