Restore the Freedom to Vote for People Who Have Been Incarcerated

Once someone has been convicted of a felony, they lose the freedom to vote. Eligibility to vote can be provisionally restored if (1) they have completed their sentence plus any required term of community custody (parole), and (2) are current on payment of any fines or other legal obligations resulting from their conviction. But if someone falls behind on those payments, the freedom to vote can be taken away.

Not only is the freedom to vote fundamental to our democracy, it is an important component of successful re-entry into society for those who have been imprisoned, which is why this bill is supported by law enforcement agencies as well as civil rights groups. And because people of color are over-represented in the criminal justice system as a result of systemic racism, removing barriers to re-enfranchisement will ensure more equitable opportunities to vote. SSB 6228 will allow people to register to vote once they leave prison. It offers a clear, easily-enforceable rule that will eliminate the current barriers that make it unnecessarily difficult to regain the freedom to vote.

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