We blogged earlier about House Bill 1318, which would deny ex-offenders the right to vote while they are still on probation or parole (in PA, ex-offenders currently have that right). Now, a new bill is circulating in the Senate that would take away ex-offenders’ right to vote for FIVE YEARS after they have completed probation or parole. The language of the Senate Bill 5 is such that this would affect not only ex-felons, but some ex-misdemeanants as well.
What is the issue here? Are legislators concerned that voting will actually increase the chance of recidivism for ex-offenders? Call us paranoid, but we have a feeling these bills may be designed and intended to suppress votes–and at a time when crucial provisions of the Voting Rights Act are set to expire unless we can get Congress to act in order to renew them. Contact your PA legislators today and urge them to oppose Senate Bill 5 and House Bill 1318!