NJ lawmakers advance bill to let some convicts votes

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey convicts on parole or probation would have their right to vote restored under a bill working through the Legislature.

The measure approved Monday by the Democrat-led Assembly would restore voting rights to roughly 80,000 convicts. It was passed 46-23, with one abstention.

People convicted of a crime are currently barred from voting in New Jersey. But under the legislation, those who are out on parole or probation could cast their ballots.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, New Jersey would join 16 other states and the District of Columbia that bar only those convicts who are incarcerated from voting.

Most Republicans opposed the bill, saying it lacked common sense since the convicts hadn’t yet paid their “debt to society.”