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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Cedrick Frazier (DFL)

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House Public Safety Committee Approves Rep. Frazier’s “Restore the Vote” Legislation

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Saint Paul, Minnesota — Today, the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee passed legislation authored by Representative Cedrick Frazier (House District 45A - DFL) to restore voting rights to individuals convicted of a felony once they have completed any term of incarceration resulting from that conviction. The bill passed the committee with a 12-7 vote and was referred to the general register.

“It is important that we take this step toward redemption to enable citizens to have a voice in their communities. Strengthening our democracy depends on having all members participate; this is a chance to make room for those who have been silenced,” said Rep. Frazier. “Restoring the vote would especially benefit communities disproportionately targeted by mass incarceration, creating a more equitable, accessible, and just democracy.”

Current law requires that individuals complete their full sentence, including parole, probation, and other supervised release conditions before accessing restored voting rights. Representative Frazier’s proposal seeks to amend this statute to limit voting inability only during the incarceration period. This bill will also require that necessary steps are taken to inform individuals whose rights are restored following a release from incarceration with a notice of restoration of rights and a voter registration application.

A recording of the hearing will be available on House Public Information Services’ YouTube channel. Documents and additional information will soon be available on the committee’s webpage.