Restore the Vote is once again before Minnesota state lawmakers. Last year, the legislation was passed by the Senate before ultimately stalling in the House. Restore the Vote will re-enfranchise approximately 47,000 people who are currently ineligible to vote, because of a felony conviction, even though they live and work in our communities. Current policy, which this bill would change, unnecessarily and excessively discourages positive civic participation, perpetuates racial injustice, and adds cost and complications to voting. The policy should be changed so that, like in many other states, once an individual is living in the community, they are eligible to vote.
Once the criminal justice system has determined that a person should be allowed to live in our community, there is no good reason they should not be allowed to have a voice in our democracy. Civic engagement should be encouraged, not prosecuted. Restore the Vote is supported by more than 70 Minnesota organizations from many different perspectives, including public safety organizations like the MN County Attorneys Association and MN Corrections Association; governmental bodies like the Association of Minnesota Counties; civil liberty, advocacy, and service organizations; and statewide groups representing every major faith perspective.
It is critically important that we raise awareness about Restore the Vote. Please call and/or email your state legislators to urge them to support this legislation!
Click here to send a pre-drafted email to your Senator and State Representative.