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From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Disenfranchisement, disfranchisement or voter disqualification is removing the right to vote from people, This means that people, who would normally have the right to vote, or to be elected in the place where they live, cannot do that.

There are different reasons, why this is done. Common ones are:

  • Age - most countries set a minimum age. People that are younger, usually cannot vote. Sometimes, there also is a maximum age.The age for voting and that for being elected are different. The minimum age for voting is usually close to that of turning adult. Often it is slighlty different, though. see voting age.
  • Gender - while most counties have changed that, there are still some which do not alllow women to vote, or be elected. see women's suffrage.
  • Citizenship / Place of residence - I many cases only the citizens can vote in the country where they live. In some cases, foreigners who have lived in the country for a long time can also vote in certain elections. The right to vote of citizens that live outside the country is sometimes restricted.
  • Disability - In certain countries, people with certain disabilities cannot vote in elections. These disabilities usually refer to mental illlnesses, and not for making voting stations wheelchair accessible, or for providing voting material for blind people, for example. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities says that people with disabilities cannot be excluded from voting or being elected, because of their disability.
  • Illness - People with certain mental illnesses have trouble telling what is real, or they have trouble seeinng what is right or wrong. These people are usually exculded from voting or being elected.
  • Crime - people who committed a crime, and are sent to prison because of that crime are sometimes excluded from voting.