44,000 former Maryland inmates just won the right to vote

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Maryland felons on probation or parole will now have the right to vote.

On Tuesday, Maryland's General Assembly overturned Governor Larry Hogan's veto of a bill that grants voting rights to any felon as soon as they are released from prison, The Associated Press reported. Maryland now joins 13 other states, as well as Washington DC, in permitting such voting.


The bill means approximately 44,000 former inmates will be able to vote in November's election. Almost two-thirds of those affected by the new rules are black, and the Washington Post reports that half of the felons who will be able to vote as a result of the legislation live in Baltimore, "a city that has been at the center of the national discussion over police brutality and criminal justice reform."

On Tuesday, the Post reported, about a dozen felons watched the vote from the Senate gallery.

“They gave me my voice back, and I’m going to let it ring,” said Marcus Toles, 22, who was released from prison last August and will be on parole until November.

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.