Resolution - Restoration of Voting Rights

WHEREAS, an estimated 5.3 million Americans are barred from voting because of felony convictions and nearly 4 million of these disenfranchised citizens are out of prison and are living and working, and raising familes in our communities with no voice in the way their lives are governed; and

WHEREAS, thirty-five states continue to disenfranchise people with felony convictions who are out of prison and are living in the community, and two of these states permanently disenfranchise individuals with felony convictions for life; and

WHEREAS, fourteen states already automatically restore voting rights upon release from prison and

WHEREAS, in two states, Maine and Vermont, people never lose the right to vote as a result of a felony conviction; and

WHEREAS, felony disenfranchisement have a disproportionate impact on Latino communities as a result of a felony conviction; and

WHEREAS, the history of American democracy has been a steady expansion of the eligible electorate, and the hallmark of democratic government is that it reflects the view of the governed and those views are most readily expressed through the ballet box; and

WHEREAS, bringing people into the political process makes them stakeholders in the community and helps steer former offenders from future crimes, thereby protecting public safety; and

WHEREAS, restoring voting rights helps to rebuild families and empower communities; and

WHEREAS, laws that continue to disenfranchise people after prison are expensive and difficult to administer, generate needless confusion among election officials and the public, and create the opportunity for erroneous purges of eligible voters from the voting polls; and

WHEREAS, continued disenfranchisement of people after release from prison places the United States at odds with the vast majority of the world’s modern democracies;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the League of United Latin American Citizens endorse the automatic restoration of voting rights to individuals with felony convictions upon release from prison; and pledge to lead and support efforts to make humane and just laws to ban such practices across the nation.


Approved this 11th day of July 2008.
Rosa Rosales
LULAC National President