After tackling the budget, the Senate has given initial approval to a bill that could give parolees that right to vote.
The proposal was sponsored by Sen. Ron Tupa, a Democrat from Boulder, and passed by a vote of 19-16 this morning, with Sen. Lois Tochtrop being the only Democrat to vote against it.
Additionally, an amendment proposed by Republican Sen. Josh Penry to strip the parolee voting provision was defeated by the same margin.According to recent statistics from the American Civil Liberties Union, Colorado is 1 of 5 states where parolees are not allowed to vote while those on probation can.
It is also estimated that a quarter of disfranchised voters are parolees, while half of that number is composed of African-American and Latino individuals.
GOP lawmakers have raised objections over the bill with claims that it is unconstitutional, but the Senate Judiciary committee OK’d the measure after hearing testimony regarding legal ramifications.