Saturday, October 25, 2008
Agreement Reached for Certain NM Felons To Vote
Civil rights groups and the secretary of state's office have reached an agreement to ensure that felons who have completed all their probation or parole can vote in the general election.
A 2001 state law says people who have completed their sentence are to be reinstated onto the voter rolls.
However, the state has a backlog of such reinstatements for people whose voter rights had been restored.
The New Mexico Women's Justice Project, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and Secretary of State Mary Herrera came up with an agreement to ensure those felons can vote.
Under it, Herrera will issue a directive allowing provisional ballots for people who state they have completed their sentences but who appear to be ineligible because of a felony conviction.
She also will direct county clerks to issue a letter to anyone who's received a letter of rejection, clarifying that the person may vote on a provisional ballot, and will enter information into the computer for convicted felons who are now eligible to vote.
"This is an important accomplishment that clears the way for thousands of restored voters to participate in one of the most momentous elections in recent history," said Peter Simonson, executive director of the ACLU of New Mexico.
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