SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Governor Tim Walz signed historic legislation this morning that will restore the right to vote to upwards of 50,000 Minnesotans. People living in the community, working, paying taxes, and raising families who were barred from voting while on felony probation will now have this fundamental right.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota issued this statement:
“The ACLU of Minnesota applauds the decision to end this discriminatory law that led to racial disparities in voting and political inequality,” said ACLU-MN Executive Director Deepinder Mayell. “The goal of the criminal legal system is supposed to be rehabilitation, redemption and helping people rejoin their communities. While there is still much work to be done, this new law brings us one step closer to achieving this goal by giving people a voice and a vote in their own futures.”
The ACLU of Minnesota has been working for nearly 20 years to end this law that banned people on felony probation or supervision from voting, even after they finished a prison sentence, even if they’d never spent a day in prison.
ACLU-MN began testifying and lobbying against the law in 2005, filed a lawsuit against the state that went all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court, and is a proud co-founder and member of the Restore the Vote Minnesota Coalition.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that promotes, protects, and extends the civil liberties and civil rights of people in Minnesota through litigation, lobbying, and community engagement. Learn more at aclu-mn.org.