ST PAUL, Minn. — The DFL-controlled House has passed legislation aimed at cutting back voting restrictions on formerly incarcerated individuals.
The bill, also known as HF28, would return the right to vote for people convicted of a felony as soon as they are released from incarceration.
It’s a change from the current system that restores voting rights after the individuals complete their sentence, including probation.
The legislation, which was sponsored by Rep. Cedrick Frazier, passed the House in 71-59 vote Thursday night. It will now head to the Senate for a vote.
Supporters of the bill say it would affect roughly 55,000 Minnesotans.
“Minnesota is one of at least 16 states where any probation, parole or supervised release must be completed before a person’s voting right is restored. Policies vary across other states. Twenty-one states allow what this bill would do.” according to a release from the Session Daily.
Some House Republicans expressed worry over the bill, saying nothing in the legislation would stop someone who committed felony voter fraud from being able to vote again.
A set of amendments was proposed and withdrawn by Republicans which would have kept the current system in place for offenses related to murder or criminal sexual conduct; elections, voting or the conduct of campaigns, making terroristic threats, stalking, or the harassment of public or law enforcement officials.
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