Thursday, May 16, 2024

New law signed to restore voter rights for people granted a pardon or commutation to time served

Bill signed into law restoring voter rights for people granted a pardon or commutation to time served

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 16th) – HB 1629 was signed into law earlier this week. It restores voter rights for people convicted of a felony who have received a commutation or a pardon to time served. It also restores voter rights for those who have had their sentence discharged or reclassified as a misdemeanor to time served.

The bill was authored by Rep. Regina Goodwin, D-Tulsa, who has brought forth this legislation for years. 

"We appreciate the passage of HB 1629,” Goodwin said. “While long overdue, law now establishes the restoration of voting rights for persons granted a pardon, reclassification of a sentence or a commuted sentence to time served. Thankful to work with Sen. Young and advocate Donna Thompson who alerted me to the need for a solution, State Election Board Sec. Ziriax, Dept. of Corrections staff, and Sen. Howard. A person’s right to vote and have a voice in decisions affecting everyday life is basic to engaged living and should be exercised.”

The bill’s Senate author was Sen. George Young, D-Oklahoma City.

“I am so excited to have the clarity in speaking with individuals who are now able to register and vote,” Young said. “The cloud that existed has now been removed and the constitutional right and political privilege regained. I thank Rep. Goodwin for her diligence and my constituent Donna Thompson for working to make this happen. It was Ms. Thompson who asked me to write the Attorney General for a ruling on this issue. I am proud to have been part of this bill passage.”


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