(GEORGE CURRY MEDIA)—“Apart from being a fundamental democratic right, voting is essential to a formerly incarcerated citizen’s rehabilitation. Ex-felons who have been released from prison, and are living in our neighborhoods, are a part of our community. These individuals who have paid their societal debts are unduly barred from being fully re-integrated back into society by being denied the right to vote. These restrictions serve only to further alienate and isolate millions of Americans as they work to regain normality in their lives.”—Rep. John Conyers, April 10, 2014
A wrong has been made right in the state of Maryland.
In a long overdue reversal led by the state’s legislature, ex-offenders in Maryland—citizens who have done the proscribed time for their crime—will automatically regain the right to vote once they have been released from prison. Prior to this vote, Maryland required all individuals with past felony convictions to complete all terms of their probation and parole before their access to the polls could be restored through what many described as a lengthy and confusing process.