Wyoming Considers Restoring Felon Voting Rights

Last month, the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee was set to consider a proposal that would give felons who had completed their sentence voting rights. The goal of the proposed legislation is to establish a process of re-enfranchisement for nonviolent first-time offenders once they finish serving time behind bars, probation or parole. Current laws only restore voting rights to those who have been pardoned by the Governor, or have had the right specifically granted by the state’s parole board, a process the board does not have complete guidelines for.

The Wyoming chapter of the ACLU believes the new law would have allowed 4,200 nonviolent offenders the right to vote in Wyoming between 2000 and 2011. Studies show that the ability to vote upon release helps curb recidivism; will Wyoming see a lower rate of reincarceration if the new law is passed?

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