Voting is one of the immediate ways the United States can effect much-needed change, but there’s a lot of gray area around what rights felons have at the polls.
On Tuesday (June 9), Georgia was one of five states holding their primary elections and Atlanta natives 2 Chainz and Trouble both shared useful information to help former felons who may not know whether they are able to vote. In a carousel post on Instagram, Trouble broke down the laws by state.
“14 states (Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah) and the District of Columbia restore voting rights automatically after release from prison,” he explained. “18 states (Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, new Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin) restore voting rights upon completion of a sentence, including prison, parole and probation.”
2 Chainz’s post continued, “10 states (Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Tennessee, Wyoming) permanently disenfranchise at least some people with criminal convictions. Two states (Iowa and Kentucky) permanently disenfranchise all people with felony convictions unless they successfully petition the governor or president for clemency. Four states (California, Colorado, Connecticut and Louisiana) automatically restore voting rights after release from prison and finishing of parole, while allowing people on probation to vote. Two states (Maine and Vermont) do not disenfranchise people with criminal convictions.”
He followed up afterward with a video to explain further.
“This just to add on to what Trouble was saying about felons voting,” he explained in the clip. “Individuals that are convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote if they’re on parole, probation or in prison. But as soon as you complete all of those things, you voter rights are automatically restored. My first time voting was for Obama.”
2 Chainz went on to admit he didn’t know a lot of the names on the ballot when he voted on Tuesday and went with whoever was a Democrat. For a comprehensive breakdown on voting options, each state’s election dates and more, check out Ballotpedia.