Pass HB 265 in the Louisiana SenateFormerly Incarcerated People Are Fighting to Pass a Voting Rights Bill in Louisiana
What Would HB 265 Do?
- Reduce the time people on probation and parole for conviction of a felony would have their voting rights suspended.
- Restore voting rights to people on probation who have not violated its terms and those on parole who have not been incarcerated for the past five years.
- Currently, people with felony convictions cannot vote while they are on probation and parole. HB 265 would allow people with felony convictions to vote if they have not been incarcerated within the last five years.
Formerly incarcerated people are in a big fight for voting rights in the Louisiana State Legislature - and they need your help. At stake is HB 265, a bill that would allow people on parole and probation to regain their voting rights sooner.
Louisiana has the highest rate of incarceration nationwide and the highest numbers of families directly impacted by criminal convictions. Our communities are systematically stripped of the essential pillar of our democracy: the fundamental right to vote.
The exciting news is that the grassroots organization leading the charge, Voice of the Experienced (VOTE) has already managed to pass HB 265 in the Louisiana House of Representatives thanks to overwhelming grassroots support.
Now, we need your help telling Louisiana state senators that we demand voting rights now. A victory on HB 265 would open the doors of democracy to parolees and probationers who have been out of prison for five or more years.
By taking a simple step now, you can help VOTE push this bill over the finish line.
We need to let our legislators know that:
- It is wrong to deny voting rights to parolees and probationers who are our beloved neighbors, who worship alongside us, who work hard and pay taxes, who raise families. Parolees and probationers are part of our democracy and should have a voice in it.
- Parolees and probationers have served their time and are now living in our communities. They should not made voiceless, invisible, and silent bystanders in our democracy.
- Voting in Louisiana is a constitutionally protected fundamental right for all. We should not let politicians undermine the authority of the Constitution by continuing to limit the voting rights of parolees and probationers. VOTE is challenging Louisiana's voter disenfranchisement scheme in the courts and supports HB 265 as a step forward.
- Louisiana's denial of the right to vote to probationers and parolees disproportionately disenfranchises African Americans. Louisianans of different backgrounds and races are denied their right to vote with African Americans disproportionately impacted at numbers almost twice their population.