Governor vetoes bill to restore ex-felon voting rights

As expected, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts vetoed a bill that would allow ex-felons to vote immediately after completing their prison sentence, parole, or probation. The legislature approved the bill (LB 75) with a 27-13 vote.

More than 7,000 Nebraskans with felony convictions who have completed their sentences do not have the right to vote, according to a report released this year by Nebraskans for Civic Reform. The number exceeds 17,000 when felons now in prison, probation or parole are included.

In his veto letter, Gov. Ricketts tied restoration of voting rights to higher recidivism rates.

“Requiring convicted felons to wait before allowing them to vote provides an incentive to maintain a clean record and avoid subsequent convictions,” the governor said in his letter.

 The bill’s sponsor says he will seek to override the Governor’s veto, which would require 30 votes.

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