Freeing Up the Right to Vote

"I've been raising this issue since the early 1990s but people only started pay attention after the election of 2000," Hayden, director of the New York-based advocacy group Unlock the Block, said in a telephone interview. "It became an issue after people became aware that 800,000 citizens in Florida couldn't vote. And now there's not a major university in the country that doesn't have someone doing some research on the issue."
 
Thanks to a patchwork of state disfranchisement laws, nearly five million American inmates and parolees, mostly black and Latino, have no voting rights, according to Right to Vote, a national advocacy group.