A recent appeals court ruling that upheld the constitutionality of a 1976 Louisiana law barring felons on probation or parole from voting was appealed Friday to the state Supreme Court. The filing came eight days after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law a measure that allows people who have been out of prison for five years, but remain on probation or parole, to register to vote. Some 2,000 felons in Louisiana will have their voting rights restored in March as a result of the governor’s signing House Bill 265 into law, which passed during this year’s regular legislative session.
Currently, people convicted of felonies can only regain the right to vote once they complete probation or parole, which has meant that some felons would never have a chance to vote again in their lives.
The 1974 Louisiana Constitution prohibits people “under an order of imprisonment” on a felony conviction from voting. A 1976 state law expanded that to people convicted of felonies and still on probation or parole.