The DC Council approved an emergency bill July 7, 2020 that included the Restore the Vote Amendment, authorizing voting by residents incarcerated in jail or prison with a felony conviction.
The District joins just two states, Maine and Vermont, which maintain voting rights for imprisoned citizens.
The District of Columbia is first among several jurisdictions considering expanding voting rights to imprisoned citizens. In recent years, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Mexico and New Jersey have considered similar measures.
The Restore the Vote Amendment was included in emergency policing and justice reform legislation. The DC Council intends to permanently authorize voting rights for all incarcerated District residents with a felony conviction in a future bill. While District residents sentenced to local code violations are imprisoned in the federal Bureau of Prisons, residents incarcerated in federal prisons are allowed to vote under the reform. As residents of the District of Columbia, D.C. voters can vote in local and presidential elections but do not have representation in Congress.
Now is the time to register and get your absentee ballot if you had a District address prior to imprisonment. The D.C. Board of Elections is trying to contact District residents in ...