Here in Connecticut, as many as 4,000 Americans living, working and worshiping in the community are not permitted to vote. Twenty years ago, our state restored voting rights to people on probation, but it never lifted the ban on voting for people on parole. Our state Legislature is now considering legislation — House Bill 6578 — that would restore the right to vote to people on parole. The bill is now ready for a vote on the House floor. This is not the first time this policy has come before the General Assembly, but it should be the last. It’s time for Connecticut to pass this voting rights restoration bill.
I spent over 30 years working for the Connecticut Department of Correction, most recently as commissioner. I can attest that our state’s policy of disenfranchising people on parole does not achieve any legitimate public safety goal.