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House Rejects Voting Rights For Felons On Probation, Parole

Kandace Moss

Lawmakers in the Louisiana House spurned an effort to restore voting rights to some convicted felons on probation or parole.

Louisiana's 1974 constitution allows suspension of voting rights for people who are "under an order of imprisonment" for a felony.

A law passed two years later spelled out that people on probation or parole for a felony are included in that definition. Rep. Patricia Smith's proposal would have changed that to allow someone on probation or parole for a felony to register to vote after being out of prison for five years.

Only 35 House members voted for the measure Tuesday. Fifty-three lawmakers voted against it. Similar proposals died in previous years.

Supporters of restoring voting rights also have challenged the current law in court.