06:09 GMT +313 December 2019
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    A voter fills in her ballot as she votes in the U.S. midterm elections at a polling place

    This is Democracy: 40,000 Felons Regain Right to Vote in Maryland

    © REUTERS / Rick Wilking
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    On Tuesday, the Maryland Senate overrode a veto by Republican Governor Larry Hogan to reinstate the voting rights of felons before they have completed their probation or parole.

    The law will go into effect in 30 days, and is the sixth that Hogan vetoed last year, and the sixth the Democrat-controlled General Assembly have reinstated, the Baltimore Sun reported. Felons will now be able to vote in the general election this November.

    Currently, felons are required to finish parole or probation before voting rights are reinstated, but it was argued that this is demoralizing and does not help newly released prisoners rejoin society. Hogan argued that it was wrong to restore rights to those who have not yet completed their debt to society.

    The votes unsurprisingly fell along party lines, as Democrats have long claimed that Republicans aim to suppress minority and lower wage voters, knowing that they largely vote Democratic.

    "That poor victim could be laid up in the hospital bed, and you're going off to vote," Republican Senator Michael Hough of Frederick County argued. "We need to have an orderly process."

    Senator Joanne C. Benson, who is African-American, argued that those most affected by the law are people of color.

    "It's unfair," she said. "The whole system is unfair.”

    The veto was overridden by 85-56 in the House of Delegates vote.

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    Tags:
    Voting Rights, General Assembly, State Senate, Larry Hogan, Maryland
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