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Bill signed to restore voting rights for some felons

BATON ROUGE, La. - Gov. John Bel Edwards signed HB 265, restoring voting rights to some individuals convicted of a felony serving time on probation or following five years on parole.

“Those who have paid their debt to society will now have the opportunity to reintegrate into their communities and feel a vested interest in the makeup and decisions of our representative democracy, which is an important component to reducing recidivism rates,” said Gov. Edwards.

Rep. Pat Smith (D – Baton Rouge), author of the legislation, has championed this issue for many years, which finally won the support of the legislature.

“We are finally giving the vote back to those who have paid for their past mistakes,” Rep. Smith said. “These individuals simply want to go to the ballot box and take part in the process that we all have a right to be a part of. It is long overdue.”

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