Can I still vote if I have been convicted of a crime?
Yes. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, you can vote.
If you were convicted of a felony, you can vote once you complete your sentence, including finishing any probation or parole. You will have to register to vote once your sentence is complete, even if you were registered to vote before conviction.¹
I have finished the terms of my sentence, but I still have unpaid court debt. Am I eligible to vote?
Unpaid court debt has been used in Kansas to keep some people on probation, extending the timeframe where they are ineligible to vote. However, if you have been officially discharged, and your court debt has been sent to civil collections, you are eligible to vote.
I’ve been discharged, but I’m still required to register as an offender. Am I eligible to vote?
Yes, you can vote; the Kansas Supreme Court decided in 2016 that offender registration requirements are not part of the sentence.² Therefore, even if you must register as an offender, you are still eligible to vote once you have completed all the terms of your probation or parole and have been discharged from supervision.
Do I have to fill out different paperwork if I want to register to vote as someone with a criminal record?
No. The voter registration form includes an affidavit above the signature line attesting that an individual’s right to vote has been restored.³ If you are not sure if you have been discharged from probation, contact the county court where your criminal case was filed before signing the affidavit. Signing a false affidavit can result in criminal penalties.
What do I do if my voter registration is rejected?
If your voter registration is rejected, it could be due to old data. You have options!
Step 1: Ask the county election official to contact the court in which you were originally sentenced (for example, Douglas County District Court) to obtain clarifying documents.
This should be sufficient to correct your registration status. However, if the clerk is unwilling to seek these records, there are additional steps you can take; these additional steps are not required.
Step 2: Obtain documentation of your discharge using one of the methods below.
Certificate of Discharge: When an individual is on parole and reaches the end of their post-release supervision period, the Prisoner Review Board should issue a certificate of discharge to the releasee. This certificate states that the individual’s civil rights have been restored—including voting rights.⁴ Individuals who are discharged from probation may receive documentation from either their probation officer, or their sentencing court. Presenting your Certificate of Discharge or probation completion paperwork alongside your voter registration application should be sufficient for the election office.
Case Number: If you were released from probation or parole, and did not receive any paperwork from your probation officer, the Prisoner Review Board, or the court, you should contact the criminal court where you were sentenced to ask for a copy of your criminal case docket, including any documentation indicating you have completed the terms of your sentence/probation.
Step 3: Take your documentation to the election office to register in-person.
If you are eligible to vote and have been prevented from registering, contact the ACLU of Kansas legal team using our online form: www.aclukansas.org/en/get-help
¹ K.S.A. 22-3722
² State v. Petersen-Beard, 304 Kan. 192, 377 P.3d 1127 (2016)
³ K.S.A. 22-3722