A new study by the Sentencing Project shows that some 800,000 people with felony convictions have been given the right to vote over the past decade, thanks to reforms to laws governing eligibility in 23 states. But at least 5.3 million felons of voting age remain disenfranchised.
That number includes nearly 4 million who live in 35 states which deny people — on probation, parole or those who have completed their sentence — voting rights. And critics say the ban has implications for the upcoming mid-term elections.
Host Michel Martin speaks with Mark Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, which promotes sentencing reform; and Susan Barton, who leads A New Way of Life Reentry Project, a program to help formerly incarcerated women in south central Los Angeles.