Monday, November 1, 2010

Hey felons, did you know that you can vote?

Posted By on Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge Even if you shot the sheriff, you may be able to vote on Tuesday.
  • Even if you shot the sheriff, you may be able to vote on Tuesday.

Lots of people with felony records believe that they've lost their right to vote in elections like the one coming up onTuesday. But you can vote, felons. Don't let 'em tell you otherwise.

In Missouri, unless an individual is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor related to voting, the law states that they are eligible to vote once their supervision under probation or parole has been completed.

Nelson Hopkins Sr. runs Pardon & Parole Negotiation Services, LLC, which helps convicted felons navigate the rocky road back from incarceration. The day that a person's probation or parole period

ends, Hopkins says, they can bring their proof-of-discharge paperwork to

the nearest election board office and register to vote.



If you've been convicted of a felony in Missouri but have a suspended imposition of sentence, you are still free to vote. If you are in Missouri and you have a suspended execution of sentence, you have been convicted but have been sentenced to probation, so you cannot vote until your

probation is over.

It's even easier in Kansas. Individuals convicted of misdemeanors are eligible to vote.

Someone who has been convicted of a felony can't vote until their sentence is completed, so as soon as they're no longer behind bars, they can vote in Kansas, even on probation or parole.

The Legal Action Center, a nonprofit based in New York and Washington, D.C., created a report card to grade each state on their "barriers to reentry," the hurdles that hinder a formerly incarcerated person from fully rejoining society. Check out how they graded Missouri and Kansas here.

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