(St. Paul, MN) – Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon has announced he wants to restore voting rights to felons as part of his “Investing in Democracy” agenda.
The agenda – which is the Secretary’s proposal for maintaining Minnesota’s role in protecting democratic institutions – was released today. In Minnesota, a person who has been convicted of a felony but has left prison behind in ineligible to vote while on parole or on probation.
“We have a law that says a person is safe enough to live in our community, but still too dangerous to be a voter,” said Secretary Simon. “That’s ridiculous. Shutting out those who have already done their time does not make us safer. Investing in a democracy means investing in Minnesotans working to rebuild their lives to ensure they have a voice in their community.”
Approximately 60,000 Minnesotans are currently barred from voting because they’ve been convicted of a felony. If Simon’s efforts are successful, Minnesota would be the 17th state in the nation in which voting rights are restored as soon as a convicted felon is released from prison.
Simon’s agenda also aims to pass automatic voter registration in Minnesota and calls for a repeal of the Presidential Nomination Primary Law, which require that all voters disclose to election officials the party ballot the choose and makes that data public record.
Simon also wants to allocate $6.6 million in government funding for election security. Minnesota was the only state in the country to not allocate the funds last year, making it the only state in the country that didn’t have access to the federal investment in the 2018 election.
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