Last week, a bipartisan group of DFL and GOP legislators stood together to restore voting rights to 47,000 Minnesotans who live in Minnesota but are unable to vote because they have felony convictions. Supporters contend that restoring the right to vote for ex-offenders living in the community maximizes their ability to be contributing members of society.
Currently, Minnesota denies the right to vote for anyone convicted of a felony while on probation, supervised release or during incarceration. Minnesota is home to the fourth highest number of individuals per capita who are on probation or supervised release. The legislation being considered this year would restore voting rights to felons upon completion of their prison terms, rather than waiting until all elements of their sentences (parole, probation, or conditional release) have been fulfilled.
A broad coalition of groups support the bill, including the Minnesota County Attorneys Association, the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, and the Minnesota Catholic Conference. (S.F. 355)