Saturday, 13 February 2016 00:00

Maryland Restores Voting Rights to 40,000 Felons

Written by Pema Levy | Mother Jones

In a dramatic vote to override the governor's veto, the Maryland state Senate on Tuesday voted to restore voting rights to felons on probation or parole, giving approximately 40,000 felons the right to vote.

The right of former felons to vote has become an increasingly partisan issue in recent years. Democrats have pushed to roll back restrictions on ex-felon voting rights, while Republicans in states such as Florida, Iowa, and Kentucky have recently made it harder for ex-felons to regain their voting rights. Felons are disproportionately likely to be minorities and Democratic voters. But not every Republican is opposed to rights restoration. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), for instance, has pushed for restoring rights after incarceration. In some states, such as the swing state of Florida, nearly 20 percent of voting-age African Americans cannot cast a ballot due to the state's permanent ban on felon and ex-felon voting.

But in Maryland, the Democratic-controlled General Assembly was able to narrowly override the veto of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in order to expand voting rights.

The right of former felons to vote has become an increasingly partisan issue in recent years. Democrats have pushed to roll back restrictions on ex-felon voting rights, while Republicans in states such as Florida, Iowa, and Kentucky have recently made it harder for ex-felons to regain their voting rights. Felons are disproportionately likely to be minorities and Democratic voters. But not every Republican is opposed to rights restoration. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), for instance, has pushed for restoring rights after incarceration. In some states, such as the swing state of Florida, nearly 20 percent of voting-age African Americans cannot cast a ballot due to the state's permanent ban on felon and ex-felon voting.

But in Maryland, the Democratic-controlled General Assembly was able to narrowly override the veto of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in order to expand voting rights.

Link to original article from Mother Jones

 

Read 13466 times Last modified on Saturday, 13 February 2016 10:10

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