Senate approves bill easing restoration of ex-felon rights

The Senate on Monday approved legislation making restoration of a felon's rights much easier and more automatic.

Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, said AB301 removes the exceptions that currently make it difficult for felons to get back the right to vote in Nevada. He said it restores those rights to all inmates honorably discharged from prison, parole or probation as well as those pardoned.

"These people have paid their debt to society as heinous as their crime may have been," said Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City.

Assemblyman Greg Brower, R-Reno, said he believes those inmates should have a simple path to reestablishing voting rights, but that they should have to apply for it instead of getting it automatically.

Hardy responded that they will effectively do just that by filling out a form affirming that they have satisfied all legal requirements and are not under the cloud of a felony.

Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, said the bill actually simplifies a complicated process.

"These people have paid their debt to society," she said. "They should be entitled to get their voter rights back."

The final vote was 13-8 with Hardy and fellow Republican Dean Rhoads of Tuscarora supporting the measure.

AB301 returns to the Assembly for concurrence on the Senate amendment.


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