Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Shanna Rose

Rights Information

2019 Elijah I Jackson


The research in this paper seeks to articulate how interest groups can effectively enfranchise the barred felon votes within their state through legislation. After following the history of felony voting laws in the United States, I first address and utilize Florida as a successful case study of felony enfranchisement. The state’s recent legislative victory in 2018 has returned tens of thousands of Floridians to the ballot, and is therefore, a superlative example to emulate in other state battles for felon rights. The paper also looks at the progress of felon voting rights made in Iowa. While Iowa still employs permanent felon disenfranchisement, the state is an integral example to study given that the electorate actually enjoyed felon enfranchisement from 2005-2011, before reverting back to disenfranchisement under executive orders. Iowa’s inability to secure felon voting rights would prove to be very informative on how implementing lasting legislation for felon rights is to be accomplished. The paper also considers the strategic implementation of legislation for felon voting rights through the lens of the venue shopping theory, which “refers to the activities of advocacy groups and policymakers who seek out a decision setting where they can air grievances with current policy and present alternative policy proposals.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.