Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has signed into law legislation restoring the voting rights of former felons who have completed their sentences. The law, which takes effect July 1, makes Maryland one of 38 other states that extend the right to vote to former felons who have paid their debts to society.
Ruth Martin, Director of State Campaigns with People For the American Way’s Democracy Campaign, issued the following statement:
“Voting rights advocates everywhere are celebrating this enormous victory. This is about fairness and doing what is right. Giving people a second chance to become more involved in society is a matter of justice. It serves the goals of rehabilitation, and helps those who have paid their debt to society become more actively involved. We applaud Gov. O’Malley’s leadership, and thank the sponsors of the bill, Sen. Gwendolyn T. Britt and Del. Justin Ross, for recognizing the need for legislation that increases voter participation. People For the American Way will continue to support legislation that protects the rights of eligible citizens to vote and provides sensible, effective solutions.”