2/5/16 Update: PFAW has sent a new veto override message to the Maryland Senate. Their vote was to have taken place on January 21, but was postponed to today, and is now not expected until next week.
In early 2015, the House and Senate in Maryland voted to restore voting rights for formerly incarcerated persons.
Then in May the legislation was stopped in its tracks by a veto from Governor Larry Hogan . . . until now. This afternoon the House voted 85-56 in favor of overriding the veto.
As sponsors Cory McCray and Alonzo Washington wrote in The Baltimore Sun last year:
In representative democracy, the right to vote is a fundamental interest. When folks have their access to the ballot box restricted, they lose their ability to have a voice in the decision making process. These folks are our neighbors, our friends, and even our family members. These folks have children who attend our schools. These folks care about when the recreation centers are closing. They care about high unemployment rates or cuts to program funding. They pay taxes just like the rest of us. Yet ex-offenders are systematically denied the right to vote until after any parole or probation is served.
PFAW members and supporters in Maryland called on delegates to stand up to Governor Hogan.
Tomorrow the Senate is expected to follow suit. We’re poised to win on this critical issue!