Bid to restore La. voting rights to ex-felons gains traction

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - After years of stalling the measure, lawmakers in the Louisiana House have supported a proposal to restore voting rights to some of the state's thousands of convicted felons on probation and parole.

House Bill 265:

Rep. Patricia Smith, a Baton Rouge Democrat, has proposed the restoration of voting rights for years. It took her three votes in the House this session to win passage that sends the measure to the Senate for consideration.

Cheers erupted in the House chamber Thursday when lawmakers voted 61-39 for the bill.

Smith's proposal would allow someone on probation or parole for a felony to register to vote after being out of prison for five years. Current law requires completion of probation or parole, leaving some unable to ever get voting rights restored.

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