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Politics

Should Tennessee make it easier for ex-felons to restore their voting rights?

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  The committee formed to serve as the eyes and ears of the federal Commission on Civil Rights in Tennessee is suggesting the state change the way it deals with the voting rights of ex-felons.

The State Advisory Committee is suggesting that Tennessee lower some of the barriers it’s erected in recent years that make it nearly impossible for an ex-felon to have his or her voting rights restored.

The Committee says Tennessee is one of only 11 states with a “lifetime ban on ex-felons voting, and one of only five states that make ex-felons permanently ineligible to vote” for certain serious offenses.

Diane DiIanni is the Tennessee State Advisory Committee chair.

“Consider the experiences of other states that have ex-felon disenfranchisement voting statutes that are less restrictive in their application than in Tennessee, and to consider removing unnecessary barriers to voting rights restoration, specifically in order to promote the reintegration of ex-felons into society.”

The State Advisory Committee’s study has now been submitted to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Would you like to see the committee's full report?