On Friday, March 1, 2019, more than 36K convicted felons in Louisiana got their voting rights restored. For years, Baton Rouge Representative Pat Smith (Democrat) worked to get House Bill 265 passed and it finally happened in 2018. The struggle was real!

Thanks to her determination, the bill became law in 2018 after gaining approval from Governor John Bel Edwards, the House, and the Senate. Under the new law, if a convicted felon has been out of prison for five years or more, they can vote, even if they are on community supervision. Most people can get registered to vote online, using various apps or simply going to their local DMV.

Convicted felons will need to take a couple of extra steps to get registered, but they are worth the trouble to get your rights restored. A convicted felon himself, Bruce Reilly, is now advocating for people who’ve been formerly incarcerated. Now a deputy director of Voice of the Experienced, he explained the process for felons to get registered to vote is as follows:

1.) Get a voter registration form signed by their probation or parole officer, stating they’re eligible to vote
2.) Bring that form to their local Registrar of Voters Office

Both Reilly and Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, who oversees Louisiana’s elections, agree these extra steps can be hassle. Hopefully, legislation to streamline this process will be introduced this year.

For more on Louisiana voting rights, click here.

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