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August , 2018
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From: The Sentencing Project

Kentucky

Kentucky House passes voting rights bill

The Kentucky House of Representatives recently approved a bill to restore voting rights to people convicted of a non-violent felony offense once they have completed their parole and probation sentence. Currently, the only means by which anyone with a felony conviction can regain voting rights is to receive a pardon from the governor. House Bill 70 would affect an estimated 186,000 Kentuckians who have completed their sentence. If the Senate approves the measure, voters will decide on the constitutional amendment on the November 2016 ballot.

Minnesota

Bipartisan bill expands voting rights to people on probation and parole

A Senate committee passed a bipartisan bill that would allow people convicted of a felony to vote as soon as they are released from incarceration, instead of waiting until after they’ve completed their probation and parole sentence — which can take years to decades to complete.  Advocates say this bill would ease the burden for election officials and prosecutors, who have a difficult time determining who is qualified to vote. This bill would impact an estimated 47,000 Minnesotans.

Maryland

Lawmaker with prior arrest record champions voting rights bill

Freshman Delegate Cory V. McCray (D-Baltimore City) is also championing a bill that would expand voting rights to people on probation and parole. According to The Washington Post, McCray, who was arrested several times in his youth, says it’s important to keep people with criminal backgrounds engaged in the democratic process so they don’t get left behind. If the measure is approved, Maryland will join the District of Columbia and 13 states that allow people on probation and parole to vote.

National

Civil Rights Voting Restoration Act

U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) re-introduced the Civil Rights Voting Restoration Act, which would restore federal voting rights for people who have completed their prison sentence for a non-violent crime. People on probation would receive the right to vote after one year. The law also requires states to work with federal prison systems to notify people who will be allowed to vote in federal elections, or face the possibility of losing federal grants.

Books

African American Disenfranchisement

In a recent book review of John E. Pinkard’s African American Felon Disenfranchisement: Case Studies in Modern Racism and Political Exclusion, Tanya Whittle writes: “Pinkard illustrates the human costs of felon political disenfranchisement by showing how it reduces life chances and opportunities for African American ex-felons and their communities and weakens democracy in general.” Pinkard concludes that felony disenfranchisement is unlawful as it contradicts U.S. democratic principles, and assures the debasement of specific segments of society, particularly African American communities.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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