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Abstract

Virginia is one of 12 states in the United States that does not automatically restore the right to vote to all felons who have completed their sentences. This paper provides the historical context offelony disenfranchisement in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and includes an examination of legislation and the rationales behind it. Descriptive empirical analysis of individuals in Virginia who have been disenfranchised and the impact this has on the Commonwealth's voting population is conducted for the year 2000. In addition, analysis of the impact of disenfranchisement on voting in two counties and two cities is incorporated. Discussion of current policy and suggestions for change are also included.