Legislation restoring voting rights to ex-felons who have completed their prison sentences was given final legislative approval Wednesday on a party line vote of the state Senate.
Sen. Melanie Scheible, D-Las Vegas, said AB431 restores voting rights automatically upon completion of the inmate’s sentence and expiration of any term of parole.
Sen. Ira Hansen, R-Sparks objected saying convicted murderers and rapists shouldn’t get those rights back and if they want to apply, they can seek restoration from the Pardons Board.
Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, said he knows of a case where a person convicted of manslaughter has been released from prison and, under the bill, would get voting rights back.
But Sen. Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, said most of the crimes Hansen mentioned receive life sentences in Nevada and the bill wouldn’t restore their rights because they aren’t getting out of prison.
Asked about other rights by Sen. Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, Scheible said the bill wouldn’t restore gun rights since ex-felons are prohibited under federal law.
The vote to send the legislation to Gov. Steve Sisolak’s desk was 13-8 with Republicans opposed.