NEW JERSEY (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation Wednesday that restores voting rights for convicted criminals who are out on parole or probation.
The measure will apply to roughly 80,000 convicts starting in March.READ MORE: Father, Son Killed In Early Morning House Fire In New Jersey
“These are residents who are living as full participants in their communities and yet have been needlessly prevented from having a voice in the future direction of their communities,” Murphy said.
New Jersey is a state that believes in second chances.
Today, I signed historic legislation into law that will ensure our justice system works as it is intended to – to allow returning residents to reclaim their role as equal members of society.https://t.co/sFEuCns1KP pic.twitter.com/maWngCxsv3
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) December 18, 2019READ MORE: THE GREAT ESCAPE: Clever Pup Facilitates Breakout From New Jersey Doggy Day Care
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, New Jersey now joins 16 other states and the District of Columbia that bar only convicts who are incarcerated from voting. Most Republicans opposed the bill, saying it lacked common sense because the convicts hadn’t yet paid their “debt to society.”
Murphy also signed another measure aimed at making it easier for people convicted of low-level crimes to clear their records.
The governor said the initiatives are part of what he calls his Second Chance agenda.MORE NEWS: Caught On Video: Carmine's Hostess Attacked After Asking Tourists For Proof Of Vaccination
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)