Two Tennessee state lawmakers on Wednesday introduced bills to restore the voting rights of people with felony convictions after they serve their sentences. State Sen. Steven Dickerson (R) and State Rep. Michael Curcio (R) introduced bills in the state Senate and state House of Representatives, respectively. The bills restore “the voting rights of persons convicted of certain infamous crimes upon receipt of a pardon or completion of any sentence of incarceration,” according to a statement. Dickerson said the bill would exclude people who have been convicted of murder, aggravated rape, treason or voter fraud, but that all other felons would see their rights restored.
Currently, people convicted of felonies after 1981 in Tennessee do not have the right to vote after they complete their sentences, but can petition to get their voting rights back.
“It’s such a difficult process that almost nobody actually does it,” Dickerson said. He added that he hopes to create a “streamlined” process to make it easier for people to get their rights back. He said he intends for the bill to be retroactive.