Governor Tim Walz today signed into law the “largest expansion of voting rights in Minnesota in a half century.”
The law restores voting rights for over 55,000 formerly incarcerated people in Minnesota. Governor Walz signed the bill alongside legislators, faith, labor, and community advocates.
“Minnesotans who have completed time for their offenses and are living, working, and raising families in their communities deserve the right to vote. As a state that consistently ranks among the top three in voter turnout, Minnesota will continue to lead in the fight to protect and expand the right to vote,” said Governor Walz. “I am grateful to the community members, organizers, and legislators who are committed to strengthening the freedom to vote and ensuring every Minnesotan has a voice in our democracy.”
Chapter 12, House File 28 restores the civil right to vote to individuals who have been convicted of a felony upon their completion of any incarceration imposed and executed for the conviction.
“Voting is one of the most basic building blocks of our democracy. By restoring voting rights for formerly incarcerated Minnesotans, we continue down a path of restorative justice for Minnesotans who have been historically and systemically disenfranchised,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “I cannot overstate the work of the countless organizers, community leaders, and advocates who never gave up the fight. Our democracy is stronger thanks to your work.”
The bill also requires Department of Corrections or judiciary system officials to provide a written notice and a voter registration application to individuals upon their release from incarceration.