Gov. Jay Inslee signs Sen. Manka Dhingra’s bill April 17. The bill requires information to be provided to felons on their voting rights after being released from custody. Photo by Emma Epperly/WNPA Olympia News Bureau

Gov. Jay Inslee signs Sen. Manka Dhingra’s bill April 17. The bill requires information to be provided to felons on their voting rights after being released from custody. Photo by Emma Epperly/WNPA Olympia News Bureau

Gov. Inslee signs felon voting rights legislation

Bill clearly outlines process for felons to regain their voting rights

Legislation focused on streamlining the process and notification requirements to felons of their voting rights and the restoration of those rights was signed by Governor Jay Inslee on April 17.

Senate Bill 5207 was sponsored by Law and Justice Commission Vice Chairwoman Senator Manka Dhingra, D-Redmond.

The legislation does not change current felon voting rights, but “makes sure that a current law actually is implemented in the manner that we all wanted it to be implemented when felons get their voter rights back,” said Dhingra in her Feb. 25 floor speech.

It’s not enough to simply notify individuals that their voting rights are restored, Dhingra said, noting her measure will give them the voter registration form and instructions on how to become a registered voter.

Individuals convicted of a felony can already have their voting rights provisionally restored after completing their sentence. Provisional rights can be revoked if an individual cannot comply with legal financial obligations.

The state Department of Corrections is required to develop individualized re-entry plans after the completion of felons’ sentences. The American Civil Liberties Union voting guide will be included with release paperwork.

Under this new law, the department must notify inmates of the process to receive provisional and permanent restoration of voting rights as a part of their release paperwork. Individuals will also be provided with a voter registration form and information regarding registering to vote, both in person and electronically.

The bill passed the Senate, 37-12, on Feb. 25. It passed the House, 76-21, on April 9. The opposing votes were all cast by Republicans.

The law will go into effect 90 days after the legislative session adjourns.

The session is scheduled to end April 28.

More in News

Faern Tait of Port Angeles shows off Valentina, a 10-year-old alpaca, at the 2019 Clallam County Fair. Officials have cancelled the 2020 fair with Clallam County not likely able to host large gatherings by mid-August. Sequim Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell
Clallam County Fair cancelled for 2020

The livestock displays, rodeo, carnival, scones and more will have to wait… Continue reading

Expect delays along US Highway 101 near Sequim for repairs

Maintenance crews for the Washington State Department of Transportation look to take… Continue reading

State gives Clallam County approval for Phase 2

Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman has approved Clallam County’s request… Continue reading

Clallam County approves Phase 2 plan

Clallam County has approved a request to move into the next phase… Continue reading

Sequim High School Class of 2020 scholarship recipients

Congratulations to Sequim High School’s Class of 2020! https://issuu.com/sequimgazette/docs/shs_class_of_2020_scholarship_awards_presentation Click on the… Continue reading

Subdued remembrances on Memorial Day

Deidre Magner, longtime groundskeeper for Sequim View Cemetery, raises the flag at… Continue reading

Habitat Clallam sets summer building class

Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County is hosting a seven-week class designed… Continue reading

Police blotter — May 27, 2020

The weekly police blotter includes incidents that occurred in the City of… Continue reading

Ian Thill stands near his Eagle Scout project last year where he restored a shed and installed a bench in Pioneer Memorial Park. Sequim Gazette file photo by Conor Dowley
Eagle Scout’s bench stolen from Memorial Park

Sequim Police are investigating a missing part of a stone bench from… Continue reading

Most Read