~5.8 million Americans cannot vote because of felony convictions ~
WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL09) and Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) introduced H.R. 5352, the No One Can Take Away Your Right to Vote Act of 2016. This legislation will reinstate voting rights to Americans who have been shut out of the political process as a result of criminal convictions. Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) also signed onto the bill as an original co-sponsor.
|Dean of the U.S. House|
John Conyers, Jr.
“Denying voting rights to ex-offenders robs them of the opportunity to fully participate and contribute to their society,” said Congressman John Conyers. “In the past two election cycles, flawed voter purges have deprived thousands of legitimate voters of their rights. To continue denying them the ability to reclaim rights as citizens resurrects historic unenlightened practices of our society. Just like poll taxes and literacy tests, it is long past time that these restrictions be relegated to unenlightened history.”
“It’s a bill about redemption, about giving second chances and about closure,” said Congressman Grayson. “We can’t have first-class citizens and second-class citizens in America. Under our Constitution everyone, even convicted felons, are entitled to equal protection under the law.”
This legislation will amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, by prohibiting states from disqualifying individuals convicted of criminal offenses from voting in federal and local elections, and from registering to vote, with the exception of those convicted of murder, manslaughter, or sex crimes. Nationwide, 5.8 million Americans cannot vote because of felony convictions.