February 21, 2023

Minnesota Lawmakers Pass Legislation Rejecting Racist Origins of Felony Disenfranchisement and Promoting Accessible Elections

Today, Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chairman Ken Martin released the following statement after the Minnesota Senate passed the Restore the Vote Act, which restores the right to vote to formerly incarcerated individuals:

“This is a huge win for democracy and a testament to the power of grassroots activism and civic engagement,” said DFL Chairman Ken Martin. “We believe that every Minnesotan, including those who have served their time and are reintegrating back into our communities, has the right to participate in our democratic process. This new law helps ensure everyone can exercise their right to vote, regardless of their background or circumstances. We know that one of the best ways to reintegrate felons who have served their time back into the community is giving them the right to fully participate as a citizen.

“We’re proud to be part of a state that values the right to vote as much as Minnesota does. This new law is a testament to the hard work and dedication of activists, lawmakers, and everyday citizens who have fought for years to make our democracy more accessible, inclusive, and representative of all our communities.

“With the passage of this historic legislation, Minnesota is taking an important step forward in the ongoing struggle for civil rights and democracy. By rejecting the racist origins of felony disenfranchisement and affirming the importance of accessible and inclusive elections, the state is setting a powerful example for the nation.”

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