Minnesota Senate passes bill to restore voting rights to felons

The state would join 21 others where felons regain the right to vote upon their release


February 22, 2023

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

Minister JaNaé Bates led chants Tuesday at the State Capitol with supporters of legislation that would restore felons' right to vote upon release.

Last campaign season, volunteers showed up at Kevin Reese's door, hoping to count on his vote in that election. He had to turn them away. As a felon who spent nearly 15 years incarcerated and was released a few years ago, he is barred from voting.

"I felt like a criminal all over again," Reese said. "I was ashamed to say that I can't vote because it comes with the 'why can't you vote?'"

The Minnesota Senate passed a bill 35-30 Tuesday to restore voting rights to convicted felons immediately upon completion of their incarceration. The House passed the bill 71-59 earlier and Gov. Tim Walz is expected to sign it.



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