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Former felons in Washington may get new voting rights, thanks to a formerly-incarcerated State Rep

Former felons in the State of Washington may get new voting rights, thanks in part to a formerly-incarcerated State Representative

Currently, Washington residents with a felony record regain their voting rights only after serving their sentence and completing probation or parole. A proposed bill, HB 1078 – 2021-22, co-sponsored by Representative Tarra Simmons (D), the first formerly incarcerated person to serve in the Legislature, is seeking to change this by automatically reinstating the right to vote immediately after release from incarceration.

“This is really about reentry. It’s not about the punishment. The punishment has been taken into consideration during the prosecution.” Rep. Tarra Simmons (D-Bremerton)

Testimony on this bill was held before the House State Government and Tribal Relations Committee January 14th. The bill is scheduled for an executive session on January 21st.

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