Voting Rights to Citizens on Parole and on Probation is Restored in New Jersey
Many individuals who made mistakes in life that has resulted in receiving a prison sentence can now look to be part of society in the state of New Jersey. As of March 17, 2020, people who have spent time in prison and are now serving parole or have a probation obligation can now vote in all elections in the state of New Jersey.
Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill in December 2019, sponsored by New Jersey Senators Ronald L. Rice (Democrat-Legislative District 28) and Sandra B. Cunningham (Democrat-Legislative District 31) to restore voting rights to men/women who are serving parole and probation obligations throughout New Jersey. This historic restoration allows over 83,000 people to engage in the voting process and to have their voices heard. This signing is widely considered by many civil-rights advocates and social justice organizations in NJ as a basic right that was deemed unconstitutional.
NJ NAACP State Conference President, Richard T. Smith and I testified at the Statehouse in Trenton, NJ before members of the NJ Senate/Assembly on January 31, 2019 in favor of the bill. Along with other advocates and concerned stakeholders, both posed logical and persuasive arguments insisting that this proposed bill becomes law immediately. New Jersey has denied individuals, who served time in prisons the right to vote since the year 1844. Now, we are one of 17 states that allows people serving parole and probation obligations the right to vote in its elections.
One of the many charges of the NAACP is to register everyone to vote. So this historic outcome marks another win for the NAACP and we look forward to these 83,000 men/women voting in upcoming New Jersey and National elections.
Rick Robinson, Chairman
NJ NAACP SC/Newark NAACP
Criminal Justice Committees