Can Felons Vote in Texas?

Updated January 31, 2024
7 min read
Can Felons Vote in Texas?

The right to vote is a fundamental aspect of the American Constitution. However, historically, this was not a universally provided right. In the early days of the United States, voting privileges were granted to white men who owned property. Some states even required individuals to adhere to Christian beliefs to vote.

These regulations began to change in the 1800s when voting rights were extended to individuals without property or regardless of race after the Civil War. It was in the 20th century that women were granted the right to vote.

But what about individuals who have encountered the law and been convicted of crimes? Certain criminal offenses can indeed rescind the right to vote. In Texas, they are convicted of a felony, and serving time in prison temporarily removes voting rights.

Registering To Vote

Today, anyone over 18, a legal citizen of the United States, and mentally competent can register to vote. The law stipulates qualifying individuals can submit their voter registration in their county and state. They can change their voter enrollment should they relocate.

Some variations exist across states about who can vote, particularly when individuals have been convicted of felonies. In Texas, convicted felons can vote, provided specific requirements are met.

Texas Felon Voting Rights

Texas is among the many states that reinstate voting rights to felons once they have completed their sentence, which raises the question, can you vote with a felony in Texas? The Supreme Court upheld in Richardson v. Ramirez that states preventing felons from voting after their sentences have been served did not violate the 14th Amendment since no federal laws govern the voting ability. Therefore, felony disenfranchisement laws are regulated at the state level.

Every state has its laws. To comprehensively understand each state's rights restoration, refer to the National Conference of State Legislatures' summary of restoration rights.

Can a Felon Vote in Texas?

According to the Laws in Texas, specifically the felony disenfranchisement laws, felons can vote in Texas after their sentence completion. The U.S. Probation Office for Texas clarified that since 1997, felons' voting rights were restored in Texas after they completed all terms of their sentence. They must:

  1. Be a US citizen.

  2. Be a minimum of 18 years of age.

  3. Be mentally competent.

The Texas Secretary of State's office reviews information from the Department of Public Safety about Texans convicted of a felony and exonerated after serving their sentence.

Restoring a Felon's Rights in Texas

Regarding the restoration of voting rights for ex-felons, Texas state law acknowledges that they are 'fully discharged' once their sentencing requirements have been completely fulfilled. Below are the conditions under which the right to vote can be restored:

  1. Completion of the entire prison sentence, including parole and any probation period.

  2. Payment of fines or other restitution is included as part of the punishment.

  3. Should a pardon be received from the governor, it will restore the right to vote.

Eligible ex-felons can register to vote after meeting these requirements. During re-registration, proof of compliance with the sentencing requirements might be necessary.

Hire An Attorney

Navigating through this process can be challenging; therefore, seeking assistance from a qualified attorney can be worthwhile. An attorney can help determine eligibility, guide through reinstating voting rights, and assist with voter registration for upcoming elections.


The right to vote in Texas can be affected by criminal activity, but it can usually be restored after fully serving a sentence. As we look towards the future, many individuals are particularly interested in understanding if can felons vote in Texas 2024 elections. Every individual will experience a unique timeline to have their rights reinstated, depending on their respective parole sentences, probationary periods, or fines. State resources can educate individuals about their eligibility and guide them toward reinstating their right to vote, even after a felony conviction.

Article by
Yevheniia Savchenko

Yevheniia Savchenko is a Product Content Manager at Lawrina. Yevheniia creates user interface copies for Lawrina products, writes release notes, and helps customers get the best user experience from all Lawrina products. Also, Yevheniia is in charge of creating helpful content on legal template pages (Lawrina Templates) and up-to-date information on US law (Lawrina Guides). In her spare time, Yevheniia takes up swimming, travels, and goes for a walk in her home city.

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