skip to main content

Thursday, June 1, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

WI working family advocates shine a spotlight on Reps' voting records; a new report says that Phoenix area can't meet groundwater demands; Nevada sporting community sends top 10 priorities to Gov. Lombardo's desk.

play newscast audioPlay

The Senate aims to get the debt limit spending bill to President Biden's desk quickly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis makes a campaign stop in Iowa, and a new survey finds most straight adults support LGBTQ+ rights.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

OR Bill Would Restore Voting Rights for People in Prison

play audio
Play

Monday, March 6, 2023   

Oregon lawmakers could restore voting rights to people currently in prison.

For the third year in a row, advocates are attempting to get a bill passed to allow people who are incarcerated on felony convictions to vote. If passed, it would make Oregon the first state to do so via legislation.

Alice Lundell - director of communications with the Oregon Justice Resource Center - said people of color and low-income people are disproportionately affected by the carceral system, and thus disenfranchised.

"We have an opportunity as a state to move beyond on that," said Lundell, "to take action in support of racial justice and to guarantee the right to vote to currently incarcerated Oregonians."

About 8.7% of Oregonians in prison are Black, even though only 2.3% of the state's population is Black. The measure would restore voting rights for about 12,000 people.

Critics say people who have committed crimes such as murder or rape should not be allowed to vote.

Under the measure, people would vote in the elections from the communities where they resided before being arrested. An analysis of the bill found it would cost about $800,000 to implement over the next four years.

Lundell said the state's vote-by-mail system would make it easier to implement. She also noted that people in prison want this right back and are interested in criminal-justice policies.

"There are very few people in the community who are more impacted by decisions made by elected officials and by government," said Lundell, "than people who are currently in the custody of the state."

Maine and Vermont are the only states that never disenfranchised incarcerated people. Washington, D.C. has also recently restored voting rights for people in prison.

Lundell noted that some incarcerated Oregonians already are allowed to vote, such as people in jail for misdemeanor charges or those waiting for a trial.

Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.




get more stories like this via email

A new park, San Vicente Redwoods, opened up late last year near Santa Cruz, Calif., in an area previously ravaged by fire and logging. (Nadia Hamey)

Environment

play sound

This Saturday, June 3, thousands of Californians will be among hundreds of thousands of Americans heading into the great outdoors to celebrate …


Social Issues

play sound

A coalition of Wisconsin groups is asking Gov. Tony Evers to reject bills it contends would make it harder for people struggling to get by to bounce …

Social Issues

play sound

Two months from today, Minnesota will begin the process of removing low-level marijuana convictions for those who have them on their criminal records…


Alabama is one of only three states still applying its full state sales tax on the purchase of groceries and food items. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Groups working to fight poverty in Alabama are urging state senators to approve a bill aimed at lowering food costs for families. House Bill 479 …

Social Issues

play sound

Navigating college can seem overwhelming for first generation students, but an early outreach program at Arizona State University aims to change it…

Nebraska was one of 10 states to further restrict abortion access in the 2023 legislative session. At least 48 bills were passed involving restrictions for LGBTQ+ individuals. (Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A new Nebraska law is now the subject of a lawsuit filed in the District Court of Lancaster County. In its amended form, Legislative Bill 574 …

Social Issues

play sound

A proposal from the federal government could provide a better path toward student loan debt repayment, but a new survey finds many borrowers don't …

Environment

play sound

Maine lawmakers are considering two pieces of legislation which supporters said are needed to ensure "responsible" development of offshore wind projec…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021