- Associated Press - Thursday, April 27, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has vetoed a bill that would have eliminated a two-year waiting period for people convicted of felonies to vote.

Ricketts said Thursday in a letter to lawmakers that he believed allowing felons to vote immediately after finishing their sentences would violate the Nebraska constitution. He says passing the bill would create the equivalent of a legislative pardon.

Sen. Justin Wayne, who sponsored the bill, says that part of the state constitution was written shortly after the Civil War to keep black people from voting.

Ricketts says he’s seen no proof for Wayne’s contention that the bill will help felons become more engaged and avoid committing additional crime.

Overturning a veto requires 30 votes. The bill received 28, 32 and 27 votes during its three readings.

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