Civil Rights Groups Seek International Help on Felony Voting

Published on, by Chip, Oct. 02, 2009.

The Sentencing Project and two national civil rights organizations have asked an international human rights body for a hearing on felony disenfranchisement laws in the United States and other countries.

The groups may know as early as next week whether the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will accept their request for a hearing. The groups want the commission to decide whether laws and policies prohibiting convicted felons from voting violate the right to vote free from discrimination under the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man and the American Convention on Human Rights.

“We wanted to bring attention to the issue of felony disenfranchisement and put a human rights framework on the issue,” said Marcia Johnson-Blanco, a voting rights attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “We’ve been litigating the issue in the courts and felt we sort of hit a block in our system” … (full text).

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