Organizations officially file to restore voting rights of those with felony convictions
Yesterday, Common Cause Minnesota, the League of Women Voters of Minnesota and the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition, filed an amicus brief with the State Supreme Court to restore the voting rights of tens of thousands of Minnesotans in Schroeder v. Minnesota Secretary of State. The organizations were granted permission to file after they requested to participate in June. The brief outlines why denying the right to vote to those with a felony conviction is unconstitutional. Amici are represented by Stoel Rives LLP.
“Minnesota’s disenfranchisement laws disproportionately strip people of color and others of their right to have a say in their futures,” said Annastacia Belladonna-Carrera, executive director of Common Cause Minnesota. “Minnesotans with a felony conviction who have served their incarceration period, should have all of their rights and privileges restored. Efforts to block people with felony convictions from voting are unfair and undemocratic. We urge the State Supreme Court to rule the disenfranchisement laws unconstitutional once and for all and restore voting rights for tens of thousands of our friends, family, and neighbors.”
According to a 2020 study, 75 percent of disenfranchised voters live in their communities, either under probation or parole supervision or having completed their sentence. An estimated 2.2 million people are disenfranchised due to state laws that restrict voting rights even after completion of sentences.
Minnesota is one of 16 states in which people with criminal legal histories lose their voting rights after incarceration. Estimates show that more than 52,000 Minnesotans, representing every county in the state, are currently denied the right to vote.
To read the amicus brief, click here.