More than 53,000 Minnesotans convicted of a felony who live in our communities are not allowed to vote. Even after they have finished serving their prison sentences, even if they weren’t sentenced to any time in prison, they still can’t vote until they finish probation or supervised release.
Probation can last decades, which means decades of not being able to fully be part of a community or take part in civic life.
In Minnesota, where we believe in rehabilitation and redemption, this law makes no sense.
There are so many great arguments about why it’s time to restore the right to vote. Check out some good ones at our press conference.
If you live in Saint Paul, you can push to make restoring the vote a top priority. The Saint Paul DFL is holding precinct caucuses across the city today at 2:30 p.m.
Bring the resolution below in favor of restoring the vote to help inform and promote the issue.
Not sure where your precinct caucus is taking place? Check out this handy list: https://stpauldfl.wordpress.com/.
We’re at 92 organizations and counting, to be precise. We’re excited to have partners who believe in restoring the vote from across Minnesota, including public safety, faith-based organizations, civic engagement and advocacy organizations, and those that provide direct services.
We’ve got updated data to share, too. Did you know that 70 percent of those disenfranchised by our state come from Greater Minnesota?
Or that the total number of people with felony convictions who can’t vote while on probation or supervision is now more than 53,000?
Or that 1.3% of Minnesota’s voting age population is disenfranchised?
Get your own copy of our updated legislative fact sheet below:
We’re holding a series of events this coming week to push for passage of bills to restore the vote.
The bill to restore the vote, HF 40, is gaining steady support in the Minnesota House. It now has 35 sponsors. The bill gives people convicted of a felony their right to vote back either upon their release from prison, or when they’re on probation, living in the community. It also requires notifying people when their right to vote has been restored. The Senate version, SF 856, has similar language, but needs our help to push it through committee.
On Wednesday, March 6, join us in the House, where we’ll testifying at a hearing at the House Public Safety Committee meeting. It’s at 12:45 p.m. in the Capitol Building, Room 120. If you have a Restore the Vote T-shirt, please wear it.
On Thursday, March 7, we’ll join Rep. Ray Dehn and Sen. Bobby Jo Champion, who are shepherding the bills, for a press conference at the Capitol.
On Saturday, March 9, we’re taking part in the Ed Owens People’s Movement Assembly at Metropolitan State. Sign up at: https://www.metrostate.edu/calendar/ed-owens-peoples-movement-assembly-35476.
Let’s send House Speaker Melissa Hortman, a friendly reminder to make voter restoration top priority in the house. #RestoreTheVoteMN
According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, Minnesota is the 7th ranking state for individuals on probation or parole. Minnesota has over 100,000 individuals currently on some level on probation or parole. Letting people vote while on felony probation can lower their chances to recidivate. A safe Minnesota is a voting Minnesota. Protect the legacy of the federal Voting Rights Act while holding our public officials accountable.