With the passage of Legislative Bill 53, Nebraska felons will automatically have their voting rights restored two years after completing their sentences, including any parole or probation. Currently, felons must wait 10 years and then petition the Board of Pardons for restoration of their voting rights.
Few make the trip, said Senator DiAnna Schimek, who introduced the bill. Though about 1,000 people per year complete their sentences, only 145 made petitions to the board in fiscal year 2003-2004, Schimek said.
Governor Dave Heineman had vetoed the bill a day earlier. But with a vote of 36-11, the Legislature easily collected the 30 votes necessary to override the veto.
In support of the bill, Speaker Kermit Brashear reminded lawmakers that the issue was not about the governor or even victims' rights. Rather, it was about those who have done their time and returned to society with a desire to participate.
What is it about our personality that would put that off for 10 years," asked Brashear. This is a positive, affirmative thing for people who would have paid all their dues."
Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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