Arizona Democrat's Bill Would Automatically Restore Voting Rights to Felons

Categories: I'm Only a Bill
handcuffs-top.jpg
Mark Coggins via Flickr


U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder made headlines Tuesday by calling on states to repeal laws that keep felons from voting after they've finished their sentences.

One Arizona Democrat already introduced a related proposal several weeks ago, but it hasn't seen any action at the Legislature.

martin-quezada-portrait.jpg
Representative Martin Quezada.
Although Arizona doesn't prevent felons from registering to vote after they've finished their prison sentences or terms of probation, the right to vote isn't automatically restored in some cases. When people been convicted of two or more felonies and served their sentence, they have to apply to a judge and have a judge approve the restoration of their right to vote.

Representative Martin Quezada, a Phoenix Democrat, is the lone sponsor of House Bill 2132. The bill would make the right to vote automatically restored for a felon who's finished his sentence, no matter how many felonies he's committed.

Attorney General Holder, citing a recent study, said felons in Florida who were granted the right to vote were less likely to go back to prison -- perhaps an indication that voting is a part of an ex-con's reintegration into society.

Quezada offered similar reasoning.

"We are better served when we create opportunities for people to be a part of their communities, and voting is one way to do that," Quezada said in a statement. "People who are returning to their communities should have a voice. When more people participate, our electorate becomes more representative and stronger. My bill addresses these very issues but unfortunately, it has not been heard in committee."

Although Quezada's bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, the chairman, Republican Representative Eddie Farnsworth, hasn't scheduled it for a hearing.

"In light of the national attention this matter is getting, I hope that Rep. Farnsworth will give my bill a hearing," Quezada said in his statement. "Otherwise, this bill will die and Arizona will continue to disenfranchise a sizable number of people who deserve a chance to participate in the process."

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.




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184 comments
returnforsuccess.com
returnforsuccess.com

 I think that this should be dependent upon the type of conviction. If a law were being considered to hide sexual offender identities, then you can bet their likely will be a long line of newly listed voters who just happen to have felony convictions for sex crimes standing in line to cast their vote.

I think that if a SEVEN FELONY CONVICTED criminal like FORMER GOVERNOR FIFE SYMINGTON stole and swindled money from US citizens, then HIS kind should not be allowed to vote on propositions related to MONEY, AND DISCLOSURE and REALTY etc...clearly he would vote for those things that protect HIS CRIMINAL CONDUCT. 


So the INTENT of this measure is good and fair, although it is a bill that must be visited and READ THOROUGHLY by the citizens to ensure those such as FIFE SYMINGTON,and JOHN JUNKER CEO OF FIESTA BOWL, and CHARLES KEATING Jr.  who are ALL CONVICTED FELONS; would not vote to protect their criminal interests versus the best interest of the people.

frenkie
frenkie

 The enemies of the state (those that shut down the government Repubs) are allowed to vote, so why not other felons? Isn't treason a crime anymore? FM :-{>

Peter Arceo
Peter Arceo

Some felons shouldn't even be let out of prison. Bradford - so you're saying you'd allow a child molester who was done with his prison time the right to vote? You'd also allow convicted rapists and murderers the same right when they're released from prison? Something is wrong with society nowadays.

John Battoe
John Battoe

Yes after completing their first term in prison. After the second one, they should not be given the vote.

leonardclark
leonardclark

Thankfully today...Rep. Quezada recovered from his seizure in the Judiciary Committee at the at the House of Reps. I have to say that I was greatly worried when he couldn't move and cast his vote. But...true to form our rep. Quezada came back and finished his vote. He wouldn't take the ambulance. I let him know that alot of us on Facebook and the Net were praying for him and loved him ! So thankful, that he is alright.

Rod Williams
Rod Williams

I was fined over $1000 for victims rights and I was the victim. lol dumb fascists. Speaking of being American, yes I are one and remember kiddies the root of being American means exterminating millions of those who were already established in this land. Then using the British system of land ownership and putting the population on a 30 year, mostly interest payment program. Yes, being American gives me a Woodie.

Bradford Miller
Bradford Miller

You really don't get the whole "rights" thing? That's why they are called rights and not privileges. That is also why they say "paid a debt to society". Paid means done.

Bradford Miller
Bradford Miller

Wow... You actually believe in freedom and stuff. I like the way you think.

Bradford Miller
Bradford Miller

Yes.... Otherwise they are not "rights". Only privileges. Actually many European countries already have been of this mind for a long time. They kinda take the whole "rights" thing literally though.

Billy Hayes
Billy Hayes

Has anyone ever read the Constitution? ! "No taxation without representation" ring a bell? If every felon enforced those words. Our last five presidents admitted to smoking pot, a federal crime, yet. ?..lol....We cant vote for them if we got caught doing the same thing?

Teri Berman
Teri Berman

If the justice system is to mean anything, it should mean that once you've paid the price you have all your rights as a citizen restored. It should be considered the carrot at the end of the stick. Yes.

Bryan Wilcox
Bryan Wilcox

Losing your right to vote over a crime is moronic in the first place. This country was founded by what would've been considered criminals had England won. Instead we became Americans

Chad Riekena
Chad Riekena

I can't believe this is a question. Should disabled people be allowed to vote or my daughter who is blind, stop being a shitty station and stop promoting ignorance. News station educate the people that want to do wrong in explaining how to do so. Glorify criminals, cooking and show animals nobody cares about. Go back to radio.

Robert Mullen
Robert Mullen

Yes,after serving their time or probation.Might not be a good idea inside the prisons where votes could be bought and sold.

vagabond545454
vagabond545454

If one reads the 13th amendment a reference to servitude is made as punishment for crime, read the 15th amendment a reference is made that no state can deny or abridge the right to vote for "previous servitude", this is coming down the pike anyway from federal department of justice and higher federal courts eventually and seems logical and within the guidelines of the 15th amendment of the US constitution!

Roxanne Olga Bivens
Roxanne Olga Bivens

Why not? YES they break the law however they did the crime and did the time. U can't Continue to punish felon after they served their time. People make mistakes they also learn from them.

Dgene Rgene
Dgene Rgene

I think that those who have done their time and are leading crime free lives for ten years or more should have their rights restored. But there are exceptions mass murders, serial killers or child molesters.

Mary Loder
Mary Loder

Everyone should have the right to vote and the opportunity to recognized as a better person than their past choices.

Collette Reno
Collette Reno

No, being convicted as a felon you give up your rights.

Lorri J Annarella
Lorri J Annarella

Kenneth Bykerk, everyone interpets things a bit differently, just like the bible and constitution. We all have our thoughts and opinions on things and I feel and look perhaps even interpreted things differently. This don't make me right but again it is only a opinion.

Lorri J Annarella
Lorri J Annarella

Sorry Tim Finchner, it's a opinion and everyone has a god damn right to have one, this IS America ya know.

Kevin Jay Clapper
Kevin Jay Clapper

Yes. With the advent of for profit prisons (such a great idea, right?), it has become easier and easier to get hit with a felony.

Travis Wootten
Travis Wootten

The people that are saying no don't realize how minor some felonies are in this state. Not to mention they are probably close-minded bible thumpers

Tim Fitchner
Tim Fitchner

Lorri please stop being so god damn stupid.s m h

Travis Wootten
Travis Wootten

Yes! Its stupid! Get caught with a dub sack and get a felony. Now you have no say in someone like Obama being president

Gigi Berry
Gigi Berry

When done serving their sentence, yes.

Kenneth Bykerk
Kenneth Bykerk

Lorri, have you tried reading, ever, the Constitution?

Marco Cruz
Marco Cruz

so american felon no but illegal immigrant felon yes?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... where -- exactly -- does it say that in the U$ Constitution?

car_del99
car_del99

You must be one of the stupid Hispanics ?

vagabond545454
vagabond545454

@DonkeyHotay


If one reads the 13th and 15th amendments carefully any state which is denying the vote for previous servitude is in violation of the US constitution!

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