Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Quezada supports restoring voting rights to felons who have served their sentences

Quezada supports restoring voting rights to felons who have served their sentences

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix (District 29), today applauded U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for announcing his support of restoring voting rights to felons.

Earlier this year, Quezada introduced a bill, HB 2132, that would allow people who have served sentences for multiple felonies to have their voting rights restored automatically.

“I commend Attorney General Holder for bringing this matter to the attention of the nation. It’s an issue I have been working on here,” Quezada said. “In Arizona, people who have completed their sentences for a single felony already have their voting rights restored automatically. My bill would extend the automatic restoration of voting rights to people who have served their time for two or more felonies.”

Quezada added he agrees with Holder, who said laws that disenfranchise people after they have completed their prison terms contribute to “the stigma and isolation” these individuals face and “increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes.”  

“We are better served when we create opportunities for people to be a part of their communities, and voting is one way to do that,” Quezada said. “People who are returning to their communities should have a voice. When more people participate, our electorate becomes more representative and stronger. My bill addresses these very issues but unfortunately, it has not been heard in committee.

Quezada’s bill is assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, but Committee Chairman Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert (District 12), has not placed the bill on a committee agenda.

“In light of the national attention this matter is getting, I hope that Rep. Farnsworth will give my bill a hearing,” Quezada said. “Otherwise, this bill will die and Arizona will continue to disenfranchise a sizeable number of people who deserve a chance to participate in the process.”

To view a copy of the bill, go to:




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