JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, has sponsored legislation that would restore voting rights to individuals currently on probation and parole in Missouri.
Senate Bill 542 establishes “The Missouri Restoration of Voting Rights Act.” The legislation repeals the prohibition on individuals convicted of a felony and who are now on probation or parole from voting. Under SB 542, individuals convicted of a voting-related felony would still be prohibited from voting. According to the bill’s fiscal note, SB 542 could affect over 60,000 Missourians on probation and parole.
“This bill gets to an issue at the heart of our democracy – access and the lack of it,” said Sen. Nasheed. “We have over 60,000 individuals who have paid their debt to society, and yet they are denied a say in their government. They try to move on with their lives, they get jobs, they earn a living and they even pay taxes, but they are denied time and time again the opportunity to have their voices heard at the ballot box. No more. We’re going to restore their voices. We’re going to pass SB 542, and we’re going to unlock the vote.”
Senator Nasheed will be hosting a press conference to discuss SB 542 on Feb. 12 at 11:00 a.m. in the Senate Mezzanine. Representative Rasheen Aldridge, the sponsor of SB 542’s House companion bill, will also be attending the press conference.