Turnout and party registration among criminal offenders in the 2008 general election

Traci Burch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


This paper estimates the voter registration, turnout, and party registration in the 2008 general election for men with felony convictions in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, and North Carolina. The findings indicate that turnout among felons is much lower than previous research has shown. Ex-felon turnout in 2008 varied by state, averaging 22.2 percent. People captured and convicted for their first offense after the election voted at similarly low rates. Also contrary to the expectations of previous literature, the ex-felon population does not seem overwhelmingly Democratic. In North Carolina and Florida, two states for which the data are available, party registration varies by race. Among registered black male ex-felons, 71.7 percent in North Carolina and 84.2 percent in Florida are registered Democrats. Among whites, however, only 35.3 percent and 36.4 percent of ex-felons are registered Democrats in North Carolina and Florida, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-730
Number of pages32
JournalLaw and Society Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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