Bill to allow vote defeated

A Louisiana House committee rejected a bill that would have allowed convicted felons to vote if they were out of prison but still on probation or parole.

Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, said current law disenfranchises people who pay taxes. She said her House Bill 175 would encourage people to participate in society and would support re-entry programs designed to ensure people don’t reoffend.

A victim rights’ organization opposed the measure, saying convicted felons shouldn’t be allowed to vote until they’ve completed their entire sentence.

The House and Governmental Affairs Committee voted 5-2 against the bill.

“You will see me again next year,” Smith told committee members.