Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill on Wednesday that will restore voting rights to over 80,000 people who are either on probation or on parole.
This move will make New Jersey one of several states to enact legislation that grants former felons the right to vote.
The law will go into effect in March 2020.⠀⠀⠀⠀
Speaking on his decision to sign the bill, Murphy said that a person can “once again walk into a voting booth and have a say in our democracy.”
“There 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.
In another attempt to help residents have an attempt at a better future, Murphy also signed a legislation that allows residents with low-level drug and nonviolent offenses to have their records removed as long as they do not commit another offense for the next 10 years. Murphy announced that a task force will begin creating an automatic system that will complete the expungements.
“I am proud that we are giving New Jersey one of the most progressive expungement laws in the nation, allowing more people to fully participate in our society, in our economy,” he said.
In March, New Jersey will become one of 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, that allows people on probation or parole to vote, accord The Sentencing Project.