skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Consumer health advocates urge governor to sign bill package; NY protests for Jewish democracy heighten as Netanyahu meets UN today; Multiple Utah cities set to use ranked-choice voting in next election.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Pentagon wants to help service members denied benefits under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," advocates back a new federal office of gun violence prevention, and a top GOP member assures the Ukrainian president more help is coming.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

Bills Aim to Restore Vote for People Incarcerated for Felony Convictions

play audio
Play

Thursday, March 9, 2023   

Lawmakers in the Commonwealth are considering legislation to restore voting rights for people incarcerated on felony convictions.

One bill would reverse decades old policy which stripped those voting rights while another bill would amend the state constitution, allowing all incarcerated people to vote.

Kristina Mensik, organizer with the Democracy Behind Bars Coalition, said voting allows incarcerated people to maintain important social connections.

"A lot of the people we work with," said Mensik, "are parents who want to vote on their kids' school committee."

Mensik said ensuring incarcerated people can vote also improves recidivism rates. She said an estimated 7,000 - 9,000 people in the Commonwealth could have their voting rights restored.

The current voting legislation builds on the Votes Act - which was signed into law last year by former-Gov. Charlie Baker, and which included provisions meant to improve ballot access for eligible incarcerated voters.

Mensik said there is growing public understanding of the impact of voting restrictions and incarceration, particularly on Black and Hispanic communities.

"We need a criminal legal system that is grounded in rehabilitation," said Mensik, "and not just focused on continuing to lock people up at higher and higher rates."

If approved by lawmakers and the voters, Massachusetts would join Maine and Vermont as the only states with zero restrictions on voting while incarcerated - but that could change. At least 14 states have introduced bills this year aimed at restoring voting rights.

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




get more stories like this via email

more stories
Some 43% of young voters say they are more motivated to vote by candidates who represent their values, not by voting against candidates who do not represent their values (27%). (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The youngest North Carolina voters could end up shifting the political landscape of the state in the not-too-distant future. New data from the …


Social Issues

play sound

Protests have heightened in New York as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joins the United Nations General Assembly today. Sonya Meyerson-…

Environment

play sound

Many across the state of Nevada will celebrate National Public Lands Day tomorrow. Nevadans will be able to visit state parks for free on Saturday…


USAFacts.org reports in 2020, $12,268 was the average amount spent on health care per Indiana resident. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Open enrollment begins soon for employer-sponsored health insurance for coverage starting Jan 1. Most people will have multiple options to choose …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Health care advocates are urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign four bills aiming to lower medical bills, improve transparency, and make health care more …

Iowa has more than 30 million acres of farmed land, and boasts the nation's highest production of corn, soybeans, pork and eggs, according to Iowa Farm Facts. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Rural advocates are supporting the Farmland for Farmers Act in Congress. It would restrict the amount of Iowa farmland large corporations can own…

Health and Wellness

play sound

In the wake of the devastating overdose epidemic in North Carolina, the state's Department of Health and Human Services is stepping up to aid …

Social Issues

play sound

In cities across the globe, including the Michigan city of Midland, various organizations are commemorating International Day of Peace today…

 

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