A bill at the Legislature would make it possible for some of the tens of thousands of disenfranchised Nevada residents to make it back into the voting booth. Assembly Bill 181 would generally restore the right to vote and serve on a civil court jury to people convicted of nonviolent felonies. The proposed law applies to those who are released from prison as well as those discharged from probation or parole. Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, D-Las Vegas, told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that his bill is intended to use taxpayer dollars effectively while encouraging offenders to reintegrate into society.
“I want to be clear,” Frierson said. “AB181 is not designed to be soft on crime or cut anyone a break.”
Most states automatically reinstate the rights of felons to vote after they complete their sentence, parole or probation. Felons are never disenfranchised in Maine and Vermont.
“This bill would actually bring us into the mainstream,” Frierson said. “It wouldn’t put us ahead of the curve, it wouldn’t leave us behind, it would put us right in the heart of what other states are doing.”