A bill that would restore voting rights to felons on parole who have been out of prison for five years is on its way to the governor’s desk after it passed the Senate Wednesday. The bill passed the Senate 24-13. After failing twice in the House this session, the bill, written by Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, passed the House in a 60-40 vote last week. Louisiana is one of 21 states where felons lose the right to vote for their time in prison and for the duration of their parole. Thirteen other states generally have more restrictive laws than Louisiana, according to a study conducted by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, presented the legislation, and Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, spoke at length in favor of the change. Claitor referenced a decision in a federal appeals court that said the responsibility to alter restrictions on felon voting rights lies with state legislatures.
The measure has faced little opposition since its surprising success on the House floor.
The bill was not debated on the Senate floor. But Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia, introduced an amendment that would exclude individuals who had been convicted of election fraud.
Full Article: Paroled felons may get voting rights restored.