Convicted Felons Permanently Disenfranchised

Since 1851, Maryland's Constitution permanently disenfranchised anyone convicted of a felony. This permanent ban on voting for one felony legal infraction excluded a large percentage of the state's population for decades, leaving many without a voice in the electoral process.

Jan 01, 1851

Advocates gain momentum with glass half-full bill

After years of fighting to restore voting rights to those convicted of a felony, advocates led by the Maryland Voting Rights Restoration Coalition, were able to get legislation passed that restored voting rights to those convicted of felony. However, they had to complete their court-ordered sentence and then wait three years before being eligible to vote.

Apr 01, 2002

Historic passage of the Voter Registration Protection Act

On this day, Governor Martin O'Malley signed into law the Voter Registration Protection Act of 2007, restoring voting rights to those previously convicted of a felony once they completed their court-ordered sentence. This legislation, which took five years to pass, empowered more than 50,000 citizens who had previously been barred from voting and was the most historic piece of voting legislation in Maryland during the 21st century.

Apr 24, 2007

Voting expanded to convicted felons not incarcerated

On this day, the democratically-led Maryland legislature voted to overturn the 2015 veto by Governor Larry Hogan that allowed for those convicted of a felony to vote even while still serving their sentence, as long as they were no longer serving their time 'Behind the Walls'. This expansive legislation empowered an additional 40,000+ citizens who were barred from voting while serving their court-ordered sentence through parole and probation.

Feb 09, 2016

Passage of ValueMyVote Act

Governor Larry Hogan allowed HB222 - the ValueMyVote Act - to become law without his signature after both the House and the Senate passed the measure empowering thousands of eligible voters to have the ability to register to vote and cast their ballots from Behind the Walls, while educating those released from incarceration about their right to register to vote upon their release, even while still on parole or probation pursuant to the 2016 law.

May 28, 2021