Monday, February 15, 2016

237.1 - Good News: some voting rights restored in Maryland

Good News: some voting rights restored in Maryland

Well, there wasn't a lot of good news to start the week, but I did see this:

After a long fight, over 40,000 people in Maryland just got the right to vote.

In Maryland, a convicted felon loses their right to vote until their sentence is completed, including any time on parole or probation. Last year, however, the legislature passed a bill that would restore voting rights upon release from prison - that is, parolees could vote.

Governor Larry Hogan vetoed the bill, insisting that existing law strikes "the proper balance."
Last month, the Maryland House overrode the veto but prospects in the Senate weren't as bright: Last year's bill passed with the minimum votes necessary to override a veto, meaning advocates couldn't lose one vote. It was close enough that Senate president Thomas Miller delayed the vote last month to give time to fill a vacant seat and again last week to give two Senators time to attend.

But when the vote came, there were 29 to override - the minimum necessary.

Which means that about 44,000 people can now register and vote instead of having to wait however many years it might have been.

And yeah, that's pretty good news.

Sources cited in links:

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