Fact check: Bernie Sanders' claim about Americans with no voting rights


Bernie Sanders wrote a tweet about the percentage of Americans who lost their right to vote, he claimed the following:

Claim 1:

“Today, over 4.5 million Americans … have lost their right to vote because they have served time in jail or prison for a felony conviction. ”

Fact Check 1: Needs Context!

According to a report published by the Sentencing Project , “As of 2016, an estimated 6.1 million people are disenfranchised due to a felony conviction.”

As a report by the Brennan Center For Justice states, Florida has meanwhile restored the right to vote to 1.4 million individuals with felony convictions in their past:

“On November 6, 2018 Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment automatically restoring the right to vote to 1.4 million individuals with felony convictions in their past. The amendment restores the right to vote for people with felony convictions, except individuals convicted of murder or felony sexual offenses, once they have completed the terms of their sentence, including probation and parole. The amendment went into effect on January 8, 2019.”

Claim 2:

Those disenfranchised are “disproportionately people of color”.

Fact Check 2: True

In the year 2016, African Americans were over-represented in adult felony sentencing with a 2.87 ratio. The calculation base is as follows:

According to the Sentencing Project, as of 2016 2,228,118 African Americans, 6,106,327 people in total were disenfranchised. Thus 36.49 % of the disenfranchised people were African Americans.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2016 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, 12.7 % of the population were Black or African Americans.

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