Resistbot Petition: Restore Voting Rights in Missouri (Mo. only)

An open letter to State Governors & Legislatures (Mo. only)

Restore Voting Rights in Missouri

21 so far! Help us get to 25 signers!

I urge you to strongly support SB1199 (Trent), HB1927 (Stinnett), and any similar bills, which would restore voting rights to Missourians on probation/parole for felonies. This is a much needed reform with proven impacts on reducing recidivism and promoting positive reentry and citizenship. Currently, Missourians are not eligible to vote during any period of incarceration, as well as during any period of probation or parole for a felony conviction. This would restore voting rights upon completion of their term of incarceration for a felony (except for crimes associated with right of suffrage). Nationwide, 4.6 million people (one in 50 Americans of voting age) are disenfranchised due to a felony conviction in their past. More than 75% of those who are disenfranchised because of a criminal record are not incarcerated, but living in our communities, having completed their sentences, or while being on probation or parole. When people are formerly incarcerated and individuals come back home, not only do we expect them to have a job and a place to stay, we also expect them to pay taxes, but we do not allow them the ability to speak on their government. For example, they don’t have a say in if they want to increase the taxes in their neighborhood or support specific elected officials in their neighborhoods because we limit their right to voice their vote. After people have served their debt to society, we must give them the opportunity to be able to voice how they want to see the world around them. In Missouri, there are approximately 60,000 individuals on probation and parole. Voters of color are significantly disproportionately impacted. One in 19 African Americans of voting age is disenfranchised due to a felony, a rate 3.5 times that of non-African Americans. Among the adult African American population, 5.3 percent is disenfranchised compared to 1.5 percent of the adult non-African American population. Studies confirm that voting has positive impacts on reducing recidivism. States that allow voting by those on probation and parole have lower recidivism rates, and more positive re-entry experiences. Voting encourages engagement and participation. It gives people a stake in their communities. This is one reason many states are moving towards restoring voting rights for those on probation and parole. Since 1997, 26 states and the District of Columbia have expanded voting rights to people living with felony convictions. As a result, over 2 million Americans have regained the right to vote. Since 2020, new laws took effect in 8 states expanding voting rights after incarceration. Missouri should join this list by allowing people to vote once they have completed their sentence of incarceration, and allow those on probation and parole to register to vote. Accordingly, we urge the Missouri Legislature to support SB1199 and HB1927.

▶ Created on February 6 by MO Residents

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