Legislators around the country propose restoring voting rights to individuals with past felony convictions


Jasmine Harris, director of public policy at RISE Academy - Nebraska Reentry Program, testifies in favor of LB20, a bill to provide restoration of voting rights upon completion of a felony sentence or probation for a felony, during a hearing before the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs committee on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, at the Nebraska state Capitol in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)
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Lawmakers in at least 14 states have proposed a wave of legislation restoring voting rights to individuals with past felony convictions, according to a recent Brennan Center for Justice report.

This trend is seen in both blue and red states. On March 3, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, signed a bill into law that permits convicted felons to vote after leaving prison instead of after completing parole. In addition, according to The Omaha World-Herald, Republicans in the Nebraska legislature voted 5-2 to move forward a measure that would eliminate the current two-year waiting period for felons to regain their voting rights.

Nebraska is one of 11 states that prohibit felons from voting immediately upon completing their sentences. Felony convictions prevented approximately 4.6 million Americans from casting ballots in 2022, according to The Sentencing Project.

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