Bills would give voting rights back to former prisoners
JEFFERSON CITY - In the state of Missouri, incarcerated or formerly incarcerated residents are unable to vote.
There is a movement to give those voting rights back.
Senate Bill 542 and House Bill 1780 are two bills that are working their way through state legislation to change the state policy.
State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed is one of the sponsors for the Senate bill and had a hearing Monday with the committee in charge of the bill. In a committee meeting today, a substitute to the bill was made, where the voting rights would only deal with non-violent offenders. Even though a change has been made, she is still confident in the bill being passed.
"We have Super Tuesday coming up, 60,000 people will not be able to participate," said Sen. Nasheed. "Even though they pay taxes, even though they wake up every morning and go to work. If that is not the epitome of taxation without representation, I don't know what is."
In addition to these bills there is SJR 61, which would be an official amendment to the Missouri Constitution and would give the right to vote back to the people affected. Missouri residents will be able to vote on this amendment this upcoming November.
Similar bills were introduced last year, yet were unable to pass.
To see a summary of HB1780, click here.
To see a summary of SB542, click here.