Maryland Restores Voting Rights for Over 40,000 Felons

More than 40,000 Marylanders will have their right to vote restored after the state Senate voted Tuesday for a bill that re-enfranchises felons.

Lawmakers originally passed the bill last year, but it was vetoed in May by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Last month, the House voted to override Hogan’s veto. With Tuesday’s vote, which was 29-18, the Senate did likewise. Both chambers are controlled by Democrats.

The bill will allow felons to vote upon getting out of prison, rather than having to wait until they’ve completed parole and probation.

Currently, more than 63,000 Marylanders are disenfranchised because of past felonies, according to numbers compiled by The Sentencing Project. Around 65 percent of them are African-American.

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The vote came after a vigorous campaign organized by a coalition of voting rights, criminal justice, and minority groups.