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Connecticut Residents Who Have Served Their Time For Felonies Now Have The Right To Vote Again

Craig LeMoult
/
WSHU

In Connecticut, the voting rights of 4,000 former incarcerated citizens were restored when Governor Ned Lamont signed the state’s new two-year budget into law this week.

The restoration of voting rights affects any citizen with a felony conviction who has served their time in prison and returned to the community, regardless of their parole status.

Lamont’s move drew praise from singer and voting rights advocate, John Legend, on social media.

Phil Kent is with CONECT, an interfaith advocacy group. He said restoring voting rights is good for society.

“As more and more people do that, as they get their rights back, I think that’s good not only for that individual and for their families but for the entire state,” Kent said.

The provision was attached to an omnibus elections bill that passed in the Senate during the regular session but failed to advance in the House. It was revived by Democrats and attached to a budget implementer bill that was approved in a special session last week.

Connecticut now joins every other state in the Northeast that allows convicted felons who have served their time to vote. Maine and Vermont allow citizens who are incarcerated to vote.

Copyright 2021 WSHU

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year. In addition to providing long-form reports and features for WSHU, he regularly contributes spot news to NPR, and has worked at the NPR National News Desk as part of NPR’s diversity initiative.