The right to vote is a fundamental part of America’s democracy. Restoring the right to vote for people who have been disenfranchised because of their involvement in the justice system and allowing them to participate in campaigning strengthens our democracy by increasing voter participation and helping formerly incarcerated people to reintegrate into society. Being able to vote in elections is an incredibly important right that should not be denied to someone simply because they were convicted of a crime. More than six million Americans are currently disenfranchised due to a felony conviction. Laws that disenfranchise people because of felony convictions disproportionately disenfranchise Black Americans. In many states, they were, in fact, intended to have this racist effect.
As an organization that defends the right to vote and believes that enfranchisement is an incredibly important way for people to participate in America’s democracy, the ACLU-CT supports this bill, which would allow formerly incarcerated people convicted of a felony who are on parole to vote, remove the condition that someone pay all fines that were charged along with their conviction before the state restores their right to vote, and allow people on parole to be circulators of a nominating petition page.