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Minnesota House Elections Committee Approves "Restore the Vote" Legislation

 

January 12, 2023



St. Paul, MN – Today, the Minnesota House Elections Committee moved swiftly to pass the “Restore the Vote” legislation. chief authored by Rep. Cedrick Frazier (DFL- New Hope). This bill would restore the vote for those convicted of a felony who have been released from prison but are still on parole or on probation.

“The right to vote is a cornerstone in American democracy,” Rep. Frazier said. “We are taking a human-centered approach to the legislation to ensure Minnesota is giving individuals who are reintegrating back into society the opportunity to vote and make their voices heard.”

Wintana Melekin, a proud Black Business owner, spoke in support of the legislation.

“Business owners need to support their staff having the right to vote,” Melekin said. “They pay taxes and deserve the same rights.”

“I don’t have a voice, unlike you I’ve been made to feel like a second-class citizen because I can’t vote,” said Willie Lloyd, an advocate for the bill. “There is nothing more unAmerican than taxation without representation.”

Restoring voting rights would be a crucial step toward helping felons reintegrate into society in a state with one of the nation’s highest rates of people on probation. Democrats have proposed this legislation since 2013. Since then, several Republicans have also supported this effort. Currently twenty states already allow people to vote upon release.

The bill now goes to the Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee.

 

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