Walz signs Restore the Vote bill into law

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Governor Tim Walz has signed a bill that will restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated Minnesotans.

Previously, people with felony convictions would have to complete parole before being eligible to vote.

The bill would ensure voting rights for people with felony convictions when they complete their incarceration.

“For many people, the idea of saying once you’ve done your time, you have your civil rights restored. That’s clearly one part of the debate,” explained David Schultz, political science professor at Hamline University.

Earlier this year, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said nearly 66,000 Minnesotans who’ve left prison aren’t able to vote. Currently, 21 other states have legislation that gives people with felony convictions the right to vote after their incarceration.

The Restore the Vote initiative goes into effect July 1.

The Senate passed House File 28, also known as the Restore the Vote Act, in February by a 35-30 vote. It passed the House 71-59 earlier in the month.

RELATED: House passes legislation to restore felons’ right to vote

RELATED: Senate passes felon voting rights, driver’s license bills, both headed to governor

To view the full legislation, click here.

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