Bill to restore voting rights to felons heads to Governor’s desk

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Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, supported a bill to restore voting rights to felons on parole who have been out of prison for five years. (Photo: Sarah Gamard)

Paul Braun

A bill that would restore voting rights to felons on parole who have been out of prison for five years is on its way to the governor’s desk after it passed the Senate on Wednesday.

The bill passed the Senate 24-13. After failing twice in the House this session, the bill, written by Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, passed the House in a 60-40 vote last week.

Louisiana is one of 21 states where felons lose the right to vote for their time in prison and for the duration of their parole. Thirteen other states generally have more restrictive laws than Louisiana, according to a study conducted by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, presented the legislation, and Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, spoke at length in favor of the change.

Read the full story in The Gonzales Weekly Citizen.

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