Moments after the Maryland Senate voted Tuesday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a felon voting rights bill, which enables those on probation and parole to vote, Marcus Toles was holding his future: A voter registration form.
“It feels fantastic to have our rights restored after we’ve done our time and have a voice,” said Marcus Toles, an ex-felon and member of Communities United, an advocacy group for low-income individuals. “I’m gonna fill this out right now.”
After a 29-18 vote in the Senate, the bill passed and expanded the voting rights of nearly 40,000 ex-felons in the state, according to supporters of the bill.
But there was a little drama before it passed, as one Democrat — Sen. J.J. Peters, D-Prince George’s — missed the first vote on the House’s version of the bill, leaving the final tally 28-18, one vote short of the number necessary to override.
Once all 47 Senators were present, the Senate voted 29-18 to approve a revote on the House bill, which was ultimately passed by the same margin.