NY  Rep. Hakeem Jeffries discusses his proposed bill that will restore the right to vote to ex-felons who have served their time.

Chart of State Felon Voting Laws
Image: felonvoting.procon.org/

The premise of Rep. Jeffries’ bill is that “as the nation moves towards criminal justice reform, reducing mandatory minimums and improving opportunities for people to reenter society, we have to look at the holistic individual in terms of their participation and their reentry.”

Jeffries continued, “Part of that is regaining their franchise as it relates to someone’s ability to vote, to participate, to have their voices heard.”

When asked how felony disenfranchisement started, Rep. Jeffries said the effort to disenfranchise felons “is largely concentrated in many of the deep South states.”

“I would argue that it’s a legacy from slavery and Jim Crow and a consistent effort to disenfranchise individuals. You see it in other context in terms of trying to prevent people on the front-end from being able to vote, along with these harsh voter ID laws and efforts that are underway in many of the Southern states and other parts of the country,” said Jeffries.

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