Holder: Arizona Should Let Former Inmates Vote

February 11, 2014

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is urging states like Arizona that restrict the voting rights of former prison inmates to change their laws. 

Arizona is one of eleven states that continue to restrict the voting rights of a person who has served a prison sentence and is no longer on probation or parole. 

Holder told a symposium Tuesday those laws should be lifted because they primarily impact African-Americans.

The Attorney General said it’s time to fundamentally rethink laws that permanently disenfranchise people who are no longer under federal or state supervision.

Holder says nearly one in 13 African-American adults is banned from voting because of such laws and that in the states of Florida, Kentucky and Virginia, it’s 20 percent, or one in five.

Holder’s remarks are part of his initiative seeking major changes in the nation’s criminal justice system.