One of the most important rights all Americans have is the right to vote.
Voting enables citizens to voice their opinion, hold elected official accountable, and make a difference. With the state caucuses and primaries occurring between February and June 2020 and the presidential election later in November, millions of people will have an opportunity to let their voices be heard.
When it comes to having a felony conviction on your criminal record, not only does being a convicted felon make it difficult to get a job or find housing but also to vote. While some states restore voting rights to felons after they complete their sentence, some states continue to prohibit them from voting.
Can Felons in Connecticut Vote?
Fortunately, felons in Connecticut can regain their voting rights after they have served their sentence—including parole—and all their legal costs are paid. For those who are currently on probation for a felony conviction, they can still vote.
This is made possible by the HB 5042 (An Act Restoring Voting Rights of Convicted Felons Who Are On Probation) that went into effect in January 2002.
On the other hand, felons who are currently imprisoned or serving parole are not eligible to regain their voting rights. Additionally, if the felony offense involved an election, such felons can get their voting rights back after getting discharged from probation or parole.
How to Restore Felon Voting Rights
After felons complete their sentence and paid all their applicable legal fines, the right to vote is automatically restored. But if they want to cast their ballot for the next election, they must submit written proof of their discharge from confinement (and parole, if applicable) to a local or city Registrar of Voters to obtain a voter registration card.
The Registrar of Voters must be in the city or town where the felon lives. If a felon currently resides in a town or city that is different from the town or city where he/she had lived when convicted of a felony, the latter location will be alerted that the individual’s voting rights have been regained.
Interested in Expunging Your Record?
In Connecticut, “expungement pardons” are available for felons to get their entire criminal history erased. In order to obtain an expungement pardon, a person must wait five years after they complete their sentence. If the conviction involves a violent crime, the expungement pardon rule does not apply.
However, getting an expungement can be a complex legal process. At The Sills Law Firm we are committed to helping you clear your criminal record and truthfully claim that you were never convicted of a felony offense. Without having to say that you previously committed a felony, you could successfully reintegrate back into society and get your life back on the right track.
If you are interested in expungement in Connecticut, contact us at (860) 524-8118 and schedule a free consultation today. We have offices in New London, Pomfret, Norwich, Hartford, Waterbury, and Westport.