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Rhode Island Voters Ease Felon Voting Restrictions
Residents of the Rhodes Island approved ballot Question 2 (PDF), which amends the state constitution's clause on felon voting, in a Nov. 7, 2006 statewide election. The ballot measure changes verbiage in Section I of Article XIV of the state constitution in order to permit felons to vote immediately upon release from prison instead of waiting for the end of the parole or probationary period. The previous verbiage was:
"No felon shall be permitted to vote until completion of felon's sentence, served or suspended, and of parole or probation regardless of a nolo contendere plea [no contest]. Upon such completion such person's right to vote shall be restored."
The text has been changed to:
"No person who is incarcerated in a correctional facility upon a felony conviction shall be permitted to vote until such person is discharged from the facility. Upon discharge such person's right to vote shall be restored."