A bill to allow felons, on parole and probation, to cast a ballot received discussion at a public hearing Tuesday. The bill’s sponsor Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) said even during that window of supervision, there is no reason to deny “a constitutional right.” She claimed Wisconsin has lengthy parole and probationary periods making the span of disenfranchisement “significant.”
Alicia Boehme of Disability Rights Wisconsin also supports the legislation. The group is concerned with people in and out of corrections as 31-percent of Wisconsin’s prison population has some type of mental health condition.
Boehme testified when she talks to people around the state there is a misconception that all felons are not allowed to vote, not just those being supervised. The legislation requires agencies, including the Corrections Department, to notify officials and the public about the change to voter eligibility if it is approved.