Gov. Walz signs bill granting paroled felons voting rights

Beginning July 1, Minnesota will expand the right to vote to more than 55,000 Minnesotans who are on parole.

The North Star State previously had allowed people convicted of felonies to vote after their sentences had expired.

Gov. Tim Walz signed the bill March 3.

The Secretary of State will receive a one-time appropriation of $14,000 in fiscal year 2023 from the general fund to implement the act.

An official at each state and local correctional facility will notify those being released that they’ve regained the right to vote. Probation officers will notify individuals under correctional supervision.

The Senate passed the bill 72-58, and House passed it 35-30.

Over the past few decades, states have been reinstating the right to vote to felons who had commonly lost their right to vote, the National Conference of State Legislatures said in a March 7 article. Effective with this law, Minnesota is among 22 states where people convicted of felonies lose their voting rights only while incarcerated. These individuals never lost their right to vote in the District of Columbia, Maine and Vermont.

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