Suit seeks voting rights for felons on parole, probation
NEW ORLEANS - A lawsuit filed in state court seeks to restore voting rights for some 70,000 Louisiana residents who are on probation or parole for felonies.
Friday's lawsuit was filed in Baton Rouge by the group Voice of the Ex-Offender and several convicted felons who have been denied voting rights. The suit says state laws blocking people who are on parole or probation from voting violate the Louisiana Constitution.
The 1974 constitution allows suspension of voting rights for people "under an order of imprisonment" for a felony. The lawsuit contends that the denial of voting rights does not extend to those who have been released on parole or probation. Gov. John Bel Edwards and Secretary of State Tom Schedler are named as defendants in the suit.