When do Hot Air readers feel comfortable having felons vote? Let’s just say that it takes a near-certainty of rehabilitation and restitution to convince a plurality — and the rest show little enthusiasm at all. This weekend, we offered a non-scientific survey of our audience on the question prompted by Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe’s executive action to restore voting rights to approximately 200,000 felons. McAuliffe didn’t distinguish whether these felons had completed their probation and fulfilled other requirements such as restitution, which would make this a very unpopular move among our readers:


Even when felons serve all their time and probation as well as pay restitution and stay on the straight and narrow, only 42% of readers support restoring their voting rights. Perhaps surprisingly, that trend is consistent among Republicans (42.7%) and independents (41.45%). Both groups were almost as likely to save “never,” too — 31.4% for Republicans and 29.5% for independents. We only had a few Democrats take part in the survey, which leaves us with too few data points for a comparison.

On age demos, respondents took a tougher stance as the demos got older. Again, we didn’t get enough responses in the 18-29 demo, but the rest of demos showed much less openness to restoration. Here are the results for “never” by age group:

  • 30-44YOs: 25.2%
  • 45-59YOs: 27.6%
  • 60 and over: 34.2%

Combining the “never” category with the “full pardon only” category, we get 44% who want felons to either get the most restrictive acknowledgment of rehabilitation or none at all. There seems to be little appetite for less restrictive conditions among Hot Air readers, with only 13.4% favoring those — and few people who took the survey that didn’t have an opinion on it (only seven Don’t Know/No Opinion responses out of 1,222).

Thanks for taking the survey!