BATON ROUGE, La. — The Louisiana House will debate whether to restore the voting rights of thousands of ex-felons on probation or parole.

Louisiana’s 1974 constitution allows suspension of voting rights for people who are “under an order of imprisonment” for a felony.

A law passed two years later spelled out that people on probation or parole for a felony are included in that definition. Rep. Patricia Smith’s proposal would change that to allow someone on probation or parole for a felony to register to vote after being out of prison for five years.

The House and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced the measure with a 7-2 vote Wednesday.

Similar proposals have died in previous years.

Supporters of restoring voting rights also have challenged the current law in court.


House Bill 265: www.legis.la.gov