The Minnesota Senate could vote as soon as this week on restoring voting rights for felons who have served their jail or prison time — a bill the Minnesota House passed earlier this month. Saint Paul Democrat Athena Hollins:
“Denying individuals the right to vote is downright un-American…. They’ve served their time. They’ve been deemed safe enough to return to our communities.”
Republicans say felons’ voting rights should not be restored until they’ve completed probation and paid all fines and restitution. Cambridge Republican Brian Johnson says, remember the victims:
“It’s only fair that that restitution should be paid…, because these individuals live with those injuries and those memories — the victims do — for their entire life.”
House Democratic Majority Leader Jamie Long says fines, fees and restitution should be paid, but “if you are requiring that an individual pay money in order to have the right to vote, that is, plain-and-simple, a poll tax” and is unconstitutional.