Push to restore felon voting rights re-emerges in Minnesota

Published 10:15 am Wednesday, April 27, 2016

ST. PAUL — Senate Democrats are pushing to restore voting rights faster to felons.

Minnesota law doesn’t allow felons to vote until they’ve served out their probation or parole. An amendment tacked on to a larger elections bill on Tuesday would restore the right to vote after a person is released from prison. The full bill later passed.

The switch would impact an estimated 47,000 people. It’s a familiar issue at the Legislature, where advocates have argued for years that voting is an integral part of a person’s return to society. A similar measure was stripped from budget bill for courts and public safety agencies last year.

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Several Republican senators argued against the change. They say people who have committed felonies have disenfranchised themselves.