Keeping voting rights restoration in the forefront of legislator’s minds is important, even if we don’t pass a bill this session. An opportunity to do this, especially for those outside the Metro, is during the Legislature’s spring break the week of April 10th when they are back in their districts. We need your help to keep this issue alive, please ask your constituencies to ask their legislators for an in-district meeting on voting restoration. Here is a message you can use:
51,000 Minnesotans living in our communities will be prohibited from taking the positive step of voting in upcoming elections because of their felony conviction. We can’t let up on letting legislators know why changing this situation is so important. The upcoming legislative break is a perfect opportunity for you to connect with your legislators.
Would you be willing to meet with your legislator about voting rights restoration during break when they are back in your district? All you need to do is call their office and ask for a meeting in their district during the break week of April 10th. Don’t know who your legislator is? Who Represents Me? Be sure to contact your State Representative and Senator (not US Representative or Senators). If you have scheduled a meeting then fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Zg3LDTEgBf7RLhgH-dD7vuSa7O33ClxWEpKdIMHqyNs/edit?usp=sharing to let others know in case they would like to join you at the meeting. If you are not sure how to proceed, send an email to Mark Haase at email@example.com with your contact information and we’ll follow up to help with this process. Please invite others to attend the meeting with you as well.
Attached below are three resourceful documents:
A bipartisan voting restoration bill was recently introduced in the Minnesota House –
Representatives Dehn, R.; Hertaus; Zerwas; McDonald; Moran; Omar; Maye Quade; Mariani; Cornish; Lee; Allen; Flanagan and Freiberg introduced:
- H.F 951, A bill for an act relating to public safety; restoring the civil right to vote to an individual upon release from incarceration or upon sentencing if no incarceration is imposed. The bill was read for the first time and referred to the Committee on Public Safety and Security Policy and Finance.
The Next Coalition meeting will be Friday, February 24 from 9:30 to 11:00 at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer 285 Dale St. N St. Paul.
NEW FACT SHEET
Here is a new Fact Sheet with the list of RTV members on the second page. We will be using this as a handout for legislators.
MINNEAPOLIS SOUTH HIGH DOCUMENTARY
Minneapolis South High School students did a fantastic job creating a documentary on felony disenfranchisement for one of their classes. It features RTV advocates Mark Haase, Rob Stewart, Sarah Walker, and Jason Sole. Please share with your networks. Here is the link:
SECOND CHANCE DAY ON THE HILL RE-CAP
Last Thursday, Feb. 9, the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition held a rally in the Capitol Rotunda and had over 40 meetings between constituents and legislators to discuss supporting people with criminals records, including allowing them to vote once released from incarceration.
Video Posted on
We need to restore voting rights to the 47,000 Minnesotans living in our community who are ineligible to vote due to a felony conviction. 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. Watch this video, share it with your friends and take action today! http://www.congressweb.com/CCJ/12
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.
Attention voting rights restoration supporters! If you would like to help us grow support for voting rights restoration, then you should introduce a resolution at your precinct caucus on Tuesday, March 1st. Find your caucus location here.
Minnesotans like Amber have been waiting far too long to get their right to vote back. Listen to Amber’s story about, hear what it was like to not be able to vote for so long. Do you have a story to share? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
This video was produced by the League of Women Voters.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2015
Contact: Jana Kooren, email@example.com, 651-485-5925 c or Sarah Walker, 612.220.2070, firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Paul, Minn. – Recent professionally-conducted polling in Minnesota shows statewide support for voting rights restoration. A recent poll found that 46% of Minnesotans believe that individuals living in the community and paying taxes should be eligible to vote, even if they are still on probation or parole for a felony conviction, versus 44% who believe they should not.
Public Policy Polling, a professional non-partisan opinion research firm, asked the following question to 1015 registered voters in August 2015:
Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with the following statement: Minnesota should adopt a policy that 20 other states use and allow those convicted of felonies to vote once they leave prison or jail.
Strongly agree 22%
Somewhat agree 24%
Somewhat disagree 18%
Strongly disagree 26%
Not sure 10%
41% of respondents identified themselves as conservative, and 33% as liberal: Very liberal 13%; Somewhat liberal 20%; Moderate 26%; Somewhat conservative 25%; Very conservative 16%
“Disenfranchising American citizens has always been a bad thing – politically and morally – throughout our nation’s history. Liberty Minnesota is proud to support the effort to empower Minnesotans and give them a voice in their government,” stated Karl Eggers of Liberty Minnesota.
The Restore the Vote Coalition is working to restore voting rights to over 47,000 Minnesota citizens who live in the community but are unable to vote due to a felony conviction. Current Minnesota policy prohibits individuals from voting until they have finished all terms of their sentence, including probation, parole or conditional release.
Restoring voting rights to fellow Minnesotans who live in the community and pay taxes is supported by people across the ideological spectrum,” stated Jason Adkins, Executive Director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference. “Our coalition has had thousands of conversations with Minnesotans across the state who believe that allowing all Minnesota citizens who live in the community to vote would make our communities stronger, more engaged and more just. Polling only tell us so much based on a very short question. Once people understand the issue better and how it impacts Minnesotans and their families, we are finding that a strong majority support this change.”
The Restore the Vote Coalition, is made up of 72 organizations from across the state including, public safety organizations, governmental bodies, advocacy organizations and faith based groups.