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Pa. Law Restores Voting Rights To Convicted Felons Upon Release
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ALLENTOWN, Pa. (WLVT) - In Pennsylvania, convicted felons can vote once they have served out their sentence.

Hasshan Batts, executive director at Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley, says he was first arrested when he was 11.

"The first time I voted, I was incarcerated," he said. "I was in the county prison at the time. Most people don't know that they can do that."

Most county prison inmates are permitted to vote. Convicted felons cannot until they have completed their court-ordered sentence.

According to the state Department of Corrections, if someone is being detained but hasn't been convicted, or only convicted of a misdemeanor, they can still vote by absentee ballot from prison.

There are no federal laws restricting convicted felons from voting. But the laws vary by state.

Pas Simpson from Zero Youth Violence has been spreading the word.

"There are instances where people come from other states and people say 'I can't vote,'" he said. "It doesn't apply to you in Pennsylvania. But it's important that you are registered by October 19th or you lose your right."

You can register to vote and find more voting information and deadlines at www.votespa.com.

PBS39 News Reports

FELON VOTER RIGHTS

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Ex-felons can vote in Pennsylvania. That's not the case in other parts of the country.