Restoring the Right to Vote
In 2000, Massachusetts voters approved a statewide ballot question making it illegal to vote from prison while serving a felony sentence.
Approximately 8,000 residents of the Commonwealth are disenfranchised and have lost their right to vote due to a felony conviction. More than half of disenfranchised voters due to federal convictions are Black or Latinx.
In 2022, the Massachusetts Legislature passed the VOTES Act by including language creating protections for jail-based voting for those who still maintain the right to vote.
Massachusetts, New York and California have filed bills and amendments to end felony disenfranchisement. Senators Liz Miranda, Adam Gomez, and Lindsay N. Sabadosa has proposed a legislative amendment to the Constitution relative to voting rights. Representative Erika Uyterhoeven and others have filed a legislative amendment to the Constitution relative to the voting rights of certain persons incarcerated in correctional facilities due to felony convictions.
This week, the Council adopted a resolution supporting these legislative amendments. The Council urges the Massachusetts State Legislature to allow a ballot initiative that would enable citizens around the state to vote in ending the disenfranchisement of incarcerated people.
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- Published by: City Council