New law - now when inmates are released from prison, they will have their voting rights restored.

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Previously, if you had been convicted of a felony, you would lose your rights... voting being one of them, forever.  But, that has now changed.  While you are still in the prison system, you do not have the right to vote, but upon release, that right will be restored. There is a group of inmates at the St. Cloud penitentiary who will be parolled or have served their time, and will be out in time for the 2024 presidential election.

Yesterday (Thursday), the Secretary of State, Steve Simon was in St. Cloud prepping those particular inmates on what their rights will be, encouraging them to get out and vote once they have been released. He spoke about the Restore the Vote Act that was passed last session.

From KARE 11:

"There's now a bright line in the law. When you’re incarcerated, you can’t vote. But the minute you get out you can," Simon told a group of inmates who in a prison classroom.

"The freedom to vote is also the freedom not to vote. No one can force you or make you. I personally hope that every eligible voter — you, or anyone else — will do that. I’m sure it’s not lost on you we’ve got a big election this year. President of the United States."

When the class was asked who was planning on exercising their right to vote, everyone in the room raised their hand.

Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell said the Minnesota Department of Corrections releases more than 500 inmates each month and they all receiving packets explaining their voting rights.

Just a note - the Restore the Vote Act has been challenged by some stating that it violates the state constitution on when civil rights can be restored.  There are some lawsuits that are in process currently, as of yet, none have been successful in stopping the right to vote being restored.

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