House passes legislation to restore felons’ right to vote

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A bill that would restore the voting rights of felons who’ve completed their incarceration is now halfway to becoming state law.

Thursday night, the Minnesota House of Representatives voted to approve the legislation 71-59. It now heads to the Minnesota Senate.

It’s one of the several election-related bills Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon championed at the start of this legislative session. Simon has said nearly 66,000 Minnesotans who’ve left prison aren’t able to vote.

“Currently in our state, it cannot be truly reflective and representative of all its people when certain voices continue to be shut out of the democratic process,” Rep. Cedrick Frazier (DFL-New Hope), the chief author of the bill, said last month. “It is well time to correct this issue.”

According to Simon, 21 other states automatically restore voting rights to citizens when they’re released from incarceration.

Follow the progress of other notable bills with our Legislative Tracker.