Tennessee felon voting rights restoration bill advances

Posted at 8:44 AM, Mar 21, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee push to make it easier for some felons to get their voting rights restored has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

A House panel voted Wednesday to advance Republican Rep. Michael Curcio's bill to lift Tennessee's unique requirement for formerly incarcerated individuals to be up-to-date on child support before restoration of voting rights, in addition to other court fines and restitution. It also aims to simplify the process.

Speaking in favor of the bill was Tennessee resident Matthew Charles, one of the first prisoners released under criminal justice legislation signed by President Donald Trump.

The Tennessee chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans for Prosperity are supporting the bill.

The legislation still would ban voting rights restoration for people with various serious convictions, from murder to treason.