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GOP Committee Members Beat Back Democrat Effort to Legalize Voting for Felons

Sen. Lamb says he's opposed to allowing felons on probation or parole to vote.

Dem Freshmen Adelson, Bass, Garrison and Wyrick vote in favor of bill

This week, the six Republican members of the Senate Committee on General Government – joined by just a single Democrat senator – defeated Senate Bill 662, by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, D-Tulsa, that would have legalized voting in Oklahoma for convicted felons who are on parole or probation.

The measure was defeated on a 7 to 4 vote.

Voting in favor of the bill were Democrats Tom Adelson (Tulsa), Randy Bass (Lawton), Charles Wyrick (Fairland), and the committee’s chairman, Earl Garrison (Muskogee).

Sen. Owen Laughlin, the committee’s most senior Republican, said the committee vote was a clear split between liberals and conservatives.

“When you are convicted of a felony, you have committed a major crime against society. Part of the punishment for being convicted of a felony rightly includes losing your right to participate in the electoral process. This bill would have been good news for felons, but bad news for the people of Oklahoma,” stated Laughlin, R-Woodward.

“Senate Bill 662 is very liberal and very weak on crime. I am proud we had the votes to defeat it in committee and put a stop to the effort to allow convicted felons to vote in our elections,” said Sen. Todd Lamb, R-Edmond, another committee member who voted against the bill.

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