Mar 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Washington state to restore voting rights for people on parole and probation

A voter inserts a ballot in a drive-up drop box for the August 4 Washington state primary at King County Elections in Renton, Washington on August 3, 2020.
A ballot in a drive-up drop box in Renton, Washington state. Photo:y Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images)

Washington state's Senate on Wednesday night passed a bill to automatically restore voting rights for people who are on parole and probation.

Why it matters: The legislation, which will go to the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee (D) to be signed into law, essentially ensures that every Washington citizen who's not incarcerated can vote.

Of note: Sean Morales-Doyle, deputy director of the Voting Rights and Elections Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, said in a statement that the move was "a step towards racial justice in voting."

  • "Due to the racial disparities in the state’s criminal justice system, Washington’s Black residents are four times more likely than others to be disenfranchised," Morales-Doyle said.
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