Access to Voting

May 29, 2019

I am thrilled to share with you that last night, the House passed HB 7160, An Act Increasing Voter Access. Besides automatic voter registration through the Department of Motor Vehicles, the bill restores fairness to our democratic system and gives people who have been incarcerated the right to vote after serving their time, as many other states allow.

Specifically, the bill allows persons assigned to community residences, or halfway houses, to vote, as well as those who are released from incarceration and are on parole. However, if parole is violated, the right to vote will be lost again.

When this law goes into effect, the Department of Corrections is required to inform those already on parole that their voting rights are restored, and provide a list each month to the Secretary of the State of people whose voting rights have been restored.

We are one step closer to expanding access to our fundamental right to vote and giving that critical part of our democracy back to people who have been denied because of incarceration. This reform will reduce disenfranchisement and restore justice and fairness to our democratic process.

When formerly incarcerated individuals are treated as fully human, and fully capable of accepting the responsibility of voting, they can confidently rejoin society. And being connected to society will reduce recidivism.

The bill, backed by Gov. Lamont, now goes to the Senate.

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