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Holder urges 11 states to restore the voting rights of former felons
Justice » Attorney general says impact on racial minorities “disproportionate and unacceptable.”


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On the positive side, Holder said 23 states, including Nebraska, Nevada, Texas and Washington state, have enacted recent improvements and Virginia has adopted a policy that automatically restores the voting rights of former prisoners with nonviolent convictions. The Virginia policy was carried out by order of the governor, but Holder said legislation is needed to make permanent change.

Kentucky is studying a proposed constitutional amendment that would put on the state ballot the question of whether to automatically restore voting rights for certain felons who’ve completed their sentences and probation. Championed by a Democratic lawmaker, the proposal also has drawn support from Republicans, including Paul.

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A measure introduced in the Wyoming Legislature would allow restoration of voting rights for non-violent felons at the end of their parole and probation or sentence. State law lets people who have been convicted of a single nonviolent felony seek restoration of voting rights once they’ve waited five years after they served their sentence.

Nebraska restores voting rights to felons automatically, two years after they’ve finished their prison sentences and any parole or probation.

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AP reporters Catherine Lucey in Des Moines, Iowa, Brett Barrouquere in Louisville, Ky., Ben Neary in Cheyenne, Wyo., Phillip Rawls in Montgomery, Ala., Jack M. Elliott in Jackson, Miss., and Grant Schulte in Lincoln, Neb., contributed to this report.




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