If you’ve been convicted of a felony, one of the things you know you’re unable to do is to vote. Maryland, along with other states, has started to look at the legality of this situation and is making it easier for ex-felons to get their voices heard. This is good for you if you want to make sure you get heard in the upcoming Presidential election or even for votes taken around your city.
In Minnesota, felons are able to vote after a felony sentence is complete. However, that also include parole and probation. Once those parts of the penalty are completed, then the right to vote is restored, even if the felony was received in another state.
According to the news, making restrictions looser has allowed around 800,000 people over the last 20 years to regain their right to vote. This restoration of voting rights has support from both Republicans and Democrats; both sides believe it is a good way for prisoners to reintegrate.
More of these proposals are taking place than in the past. Thanks to the reduction of restrictions, those over-represented in prisons, namely African Americans, may also begin to be heard en masse.
Felons’ voting rights vary because there are many laws throughout the country focused on them. Some are old; they may date back as far as the 19th century. Some of these bans mean felons can never vote in their lifetimes, while others allow them to vote while still in prison. The variance is disturbing and is something that does have to be addressed in the future.
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, “States giving more ex-felons voting rights back,” March 22, 2016