NFWL Members Work on Criminal Justice Reform in Delaware

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016
Governor Signs Legislation Expanding Access to the Ballot Box, Builds on Record of Criminal Justice Reform

NFWL Board Chair DE Rep. Helene Keeley and Human Trafficking Summit attendee DE Rep. Stephanie Bolden work with other legislators on the issue of Criminal Justice reform.

“Today, at the Achievement Center in Wilmington, Governor Markell signed legislation that removes the financial bar to restoring voting rights for people convicted of felonies who have completed their sentence. The legislation, shepherded through the General Assembly by Senator Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington East) and Representative Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South), will make Delaware one of 40 states that have increased access to the ballot box in recent years and will prevent an individual from being unable to participate in our democracy because of their inability to pay.

‘Voting for who represents you in government is one of the most liberating, important things you can do as a member of society,’ said Rep. Stephanie T. Bolden. ‘We removed one big hurdle a few years ago, but the current system continues to hamper people’s ability to cast their votes, even as they rejoin society and get their lives back on track. By removing this hurdle, we’ve invited more Delawareans to be part of the process and participate.’

‘Delaware took an important step forward a few years ago in abolishing an arbitrary waiting period for regaining voting rights. That bill was the result of years of dedication and unwavering support from former Reps. Al and Hazel Plant,’ said Rep. Helene Keeley, the lead House sponsor of SB 242. ‘This legislation fulfills our goal of restoring voting rights to those who have completed their period of incarceration and should by any other means have the right to vote. Regaining the right to vote is a critical component of reintegrating into society.'”

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