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Fair Elections Center

Help Returning Citizens Secure Their Voting Rights

Help inform voting rights advocacy efforts for halfway house residents.

Posted October 5, 2021

Background & Context

Nineteen states are commonly thought to restore voting rights to people with felony convictions as soon as they leave prison. But each state has different constitutional or statutory language about voting rights restoration, which may or may not apply to individuals in halfway houses or reentry facilities. Fair Elections Center is working to determine the point at which people in each of these 19 states can register and vote under state law, then use that research to inform future advocacy efforts.

Immediate Problem

We need to know what kinds of halfway houses or reentry facilities exist in each of these states so we can determine how the state’s voting rights restoration statute applies to them. Each state runs these facilities differently, and much of the information cannot be found in one place. We believe some states allow individuals to serve parts of their sentences in halfway houses, while other states may only use reentry facilities for individuals on parole or probation. Some states may not use halfway houses or reentry facilities for punitive purposes at all. We want to know more about these 19 states’ halfway houses or reentry facilities.

Work & Deliverables

Each lawyer will provide a memo for six states detailing what kind of halfway houses or reentry facilities exist in that state, who is eligible to reside in those facilities, approximately how many people reside in those facilities, and the extent to which they are confined.

Project Plan

Preparation Phase

  • Receive background information document with disenfranchising statutory language and other volunteer
  • Orientation session with all volunteers on or around Oct. 25
  • Send contact info and any state law familiarity to Fair Elections Center attorney contact

Collaboration Phase

  • Contact Fair Elections Center attorney contact as needed if questions or issues arise
  • Research halfway houses and reentry facilities in your assigned states

Wrap Up

  • Send completed memo to Fair Elections Center attorney contact

This project is complete!

This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

Visit the Project Directory to check out other projects that still need your help!

Additional Information

  • Time Commitment: 6-10 hours
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Additional Training Details: We will schedule a remote training session to go over the project, answer volunteers' questions, and assign research.
  • Site-Preference: Remote
  • Open to Law Students: No
  • Bar License(s) required: Any Bar License
  • Required Languages: None
  • Signup Deadline: November 5, 2021
  • Deliverables Due: December 17, 2021
  • Mentoring Provided: No
  • Supervision Provided: Yes
Fair Elections Center

Fair Elections Center is a national, nonpartisan voting rights and election reform 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to use litigation and advocacy to remove barriers to registration and voting, particularly those disenfranchising underrepresented and marginalized communities, and to improve election administration.

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