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New Jersey considers easing voting restrictions on convicts

Mike Catalini | November 29, 2019 | Associated Press |


TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey could soon join more than a dozen states that allow convicts who are out of jail on parole or probation the right to vote.

The Democratic-led Assembly passed legislation just before the Thanksgiving holiday, sending the measure to the Democratic-led state Senate. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy declined to weigh in on the measure but has previously expressed support for the idea that offenders deserved second chances.

A closer look at the bill that is winding through the Legislature:


Under current law, convicts who are incarcerated, on parole or on probation are denied the ability to vote. The proposed law simply lets convicts on parole or probation vote. Those in prison would still not have the ability to vote. A legislative fiscal estimate says the measure would affect roughly 80,000 people. The estimate says there are over 64,000 adults on probation in the current fiscal year, with about 15,000 parolees under the Department of Corrections’ supervision.

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