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Unlock the Vote Forum

Date: 
Monday, September 16, 2019 - 6:00pm
Location: 
Fox Valley Technical College, 1825 N Bluemound Dr, Appleton

Unlock the Vote / WISDOM logosThis forum is part of a statewide campaign, led by ROC Wisconsin, WISDOM and EXPO, to restore voting rights to ex-incarcerated people in our state by advocating for legislative reform.

The right to vote is fundamental to our nation’s democracy and should be guaranteed to every citizen. Preventing ex-felons from voting contributes to the racial divide polarizing our country. Nationwide, more than two million African-Americans (almost 8 percent of black adults) are prevented from voting because of felony convictions, compared to just under 2 percent of non-African-American citizens.

Wisconsin bars people who are in prison, on probation, on parole, and/or on extended supervision from voting. Currently there are about 66,000 people under either probation or parole supervision in the state (just shy of the population of Oshkosh, WI) people who are prevented from voting. One out of every nine Wisconsin African-Americans (11 percent) is disenfranchised in comparison to one out of every 50 Wisconsin voters (two percent).

On July 24, 2019, Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee), Representative Jodi Emerson (D-Eau Claire) and Representative David Crowley (D-Milwaukee) unveiled their “Unlock the Vote” legislation at a news conference in Madison. (Watch the news conference on Wisconsin Eye.) The proposed legislation would grant formerly incarcerated people the right to vote as soon as they are free.

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