News Room Archive
A judge in Mille Lacs County has attempted to restrict Minnesotans’ legal right to vote by issuing orders barring two individuals with felony convictions from voting even though he has sentenced them only to probation. These orders, which the judge issued without prompting, fly in the face of the legislature’s passage of the Restore the Vote Act (Minn. Stat. §201.014, subd. 2A (2023)), which says that a person with a felony conviction "has the civil right to vote restored during any period when the individual is not incarcerated for the offense."
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon and Attorney General Keith Ellison issued the following statement:
"After decades of effort by Minnesotans, on June 1, 2023, voting rights were restored to those who have left prison behind. Last week’s orders, issued by one judge in one of Minnesota’s 87 counties, fly in the face of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year that deferred the decision on voting rights to the legislature.
We believe the judge’s orders are not lawful and we will oppose them. The orders have no statewide impact, and should not create fear, uncertainty, or doubt. In Minnesota, if you are over 18, a U.S. citizen, a resident of Minnesota for at least 20 days, and not currently incarcerated, you are eligible to vote. Period. It is critically important that everyone whose rights were restored understands that they are welcome in our democracy.
We encourage all who are eligible to register and vote."