- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 23, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on a proposal to ensure convicted felons do not lose vote rights while incarcerated or on parole (all times local):

2:10 p.m.

A New Mexico proposal to ensure convicted felons do not lose voting rights while incarcerated or on parole has drawn debate in a committee hearing in Santa Fe.

The legislation proposed by Democratic Rep. Gail Chasey, of Albuquerque, received its first hearing Wednesday before a House committee.

Supporters told lawmakers the bill represents a step toward boosting voting among minorities who have historically have faced disproportionately high incarceration rates.



Opponents questioned the reasoning behind extending voting rights for criminals, especially those who committed violent crimes.

Republican lawmakers say the measure is radical, and does not clarify the district where an inmate would be considered a resident.

Felons’ voting rights in New Mexico are supposed to be restored after they’ve completed their sentence, parole or probation.

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12:01 a.m.

New Mexico lawmakers are expected to weigh whether the state should stop removing felons from the state’s voting rolls while they are incarcerated or on parole.

The Democratic legislation proposed by Rep. Gail Chasey, of Albuquerque, is set on Wednesday to go before a House committee - marking an early hurdle for the bill. State analysts say the measure if approved would make New Mexico one of three states where felons would not lose their right to vote at any point.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says convicted felons’ voting rights in New Mexico currently are restored after they’ve completed their sentence, parole or period of probation.

Republican lawmakers say the measure is radical, and does not clarify the district where an inmate would be considered a resident.

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