The House spent about an hour Tuesday debating and then tabling a bill that would restore voting rights to parolees, who are still serving their sentences. The bill, which didn’t receive much attention this year, was a priority for the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus. A deal was brokered to let them debate the bill for a limit period of time, but it never got called for vote. “There is no harm in broadening civic engagement,” Rep. Brandon McGee, D-Hartford, said. He vowed to bring the bill back next year and win more support for the measure. He said they want to provide rights to individuals who are living and breathing in their communities.
“The bill was not as bad as some folks were making it out to be in the debate,” McGee said.
He said it’s important to help all citizens participate in the electoral process.
Currently, someone on probation can have their voting rights restored, but someone on parole cannot. The bill would have given the estimated 4,600 individuals on parole the right to vote.