With mass incarceration as one of the most important issues plaguing the United States, one related factor is almost always forgotten: felon disenfranchisement. Felon disenfranchisement is the loss of voting rights after a person is convicted of a felony. In 2010, felon disenfranchisement denied voting access to over 5.8 million Americans. With this issue being so widespread, it is difficult to believe that it is rarely discussed in politics. In order for politicians to make informed decisions for their residents, it is important that they know their constituents’ personal beliefs about a topic. However, with felon disenfranchisement not being talked about, and public opinion not being recorded adequately, it becomes difficult for politicians to properly represent this issue to the people who elect them. The focus of my study is to gather information on important aspects of felon voting, and reasoning behind felon disenfranchisement. Through Labeling Theory, Theory of Stigmatization, Social Contract Theory, and the Theory of Punishment, I was able to analyze the issue of felon disenfranchisement through a sociological lens. Through this study, I hope to contribute new data on public opinion surrounding felon disenfranchisement, and help inform the public of such an important issue.


Fisher, Lisa


Sociology and Anthropology


Law | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Katherine LA Wollmer