It’s not just in Mankato that voting fraud has been detected, 23 felons ineligible to vote also have been charged in Ramsey County with voter fraud.
Only 10 actually voted, though, says the Pioneer Press. The other 13 registered but didn’t vote. That’s still a violation, because only felons who have completed probation are eligible to have their right to vote restored.
In the state, felons do have their voting rights restored after they complete their sentence.
Said the paper:
Most felons charged with voter fraud likely registered because someone simply handed them a registration card, Ramsey County Elections Manager Joe Mansky said. There was no sign of an organized effort in Ramsey County to register felons on parole to vote, [County Attorney Susan] Gaertner said.
Many voters were casting first-time ballots. “First-time voters may not be as familiar with the laws and, therefore, might run into problems,” Gaertner said.
There are plans to lessen the problem, the paper said.
For the upcoming November elections, elections officials are teaming with the county Corrections Department to provide convicted felons with more information about being banned from voting while on parole, Mansky said.
Next year, county officials plan to hand out information to felons close to completing their sentences, so they know their voting rights will be restored.
“We’re pretty good at removing your right to vote,” Mansky said. “We’re less good at telling you that your rights have been restored. We could do a better job of that.”
The elections office also plans to work with the Corrections Department to notify people convicted of misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors that they still have a right to vote.