H.R.1, the “For the People Act” of 2019, which contains a provision to restore the FEDERAL voting rights of individuals once they are released. It states, “The right of an individual who is a citizen of the United States to vote in any election for Federal office shall not be denied or abridged because that individual has been convicted of a criminal offense unless such individual is serving a felony sentence in a correctional institution or facility at the time of the election.”

You can read the bill here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1/text

What it would provide is restoration of voting rights for felons who are released from prison, to vote in elections for FEDERAL OFFICE. States, such as Florida, could still preclude them from voting for a STATE OFFICE (such as Governor), but not a FEDERAL OFFICE (such as President of the United States).

The vote was entirely along party lines, with the Democrats voting for it and the Republicans voting against it (234 – 193).

Unfortunately, despite passing the house, H.R.1 is unlikely to go anywhere, because it’s unlikely it will even be considered by the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who ultimately decides what litigation is introduced in the Senate, has already indicated it won’t.

Still – the bill is a sign of things to come!

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