Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

David Bjerk

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2015 Katharine G Connaughton


This empirical study analyzes the political implications for presidential election outcomes that stem from varying felon disenfranchisement laws within the United States. In the past decade incarceration rates have drastically increased, consequently augmenting the disenfranchised population. This paper focuses on presidential election outcomes and state political party majorities in the election years 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. I use demographic characteristics to calibrate assumptions for voter turnout and political party choice among the disenfranchised populations within each state. I then apply these voting populations to historical election outcomes and find that three state political party outcomes change, as well as the potential for a reversal in the 2000 presidential election. I also apply the estimated voting populations by state to an entirely Republican turnout and then to an entirely Democratic turnout to analyze the scope of the disenfranchised population and find that under these assumptions several states’ political party majorities and several election outcomes are reversed.