Give People Who Have Completed Prison Time the Right to Vote PDF Print E-mail

Former Prisoner Confusion on Voting Eligibility

While former prisoners are allowed to vote in some states, in Minnesota, they are not allowed to vote until they complete their probation.  County attorneys report that some former prisoners do not realize that they are ineligible to vote.  At the same time, campaigners report meeting former prisoners who have completed their probation, but don't know that they can vote.  Some skip voting for many years before someone informs them that they are eligible to vote. 

Voting Rights Decrease Recidivism and Racial Disparity

Citizens for Election Integrity recommends that people who have completed their prison time be given the right to vote.  Their report reveals that the number of crimes classified as felonies, and therefore the number of felons, has skyrocketed in Minnesota in the last 35 years as it has in the rest of the nation.  The U.S. is now the nation with the largest percent of its population in prison.  As a result felon disenfranchisement has increased 775%. 

In the Citizens for Election Integrity Report, Kathy Bonnefield and Carol Johnson state that this change could decrease recidivism rates and would also decrease the racial disparity connected to felon disenfranchisement in Minnesota.



MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon


steve simon


Listen to Secretary of State Steve Simon's excellent presentation on MN's outstanding election system emulated by many other states at the Think Again Brooklyns forum January 19, 2016.  Secretary Simon includes ways in which it can be improved, and he explains why it is important to vote.  He concludes with a quote from a tee shirt:  "Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion.  It is an act of surrender."

Get details on how to vote at

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How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in the US

By Lornet Turnbull
YES! Magazine
October 8, 2016


In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. 

Read the Article

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