For the first time in recent memory, two state Assembly committees passed a bill to restore voting rights to 40,000 people with past criminal convictions now living in New York’s communities — working, paying taxes, and raising families.
It is hard to overstate the significance of the Virginia governor restoring the right to vote to more than 200,000 people with past criminal convictions. But just because these citizens now have the right to vote does not ensure that they will.
Yesterday, Maryland officially became one of 14 states, plus the District of Columbia, that restore voting rights to people with past convictions who are living, working, and paying taxes in their communities.
President Obama is the latest political leader to endorse restoring voting rights to people with past convictions upon their release from prison. His prison visit is a critical opportunity to build support for policies that give citizens a second chance.