Ricketts veto of felon voting bill survives override effort

May 9, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Convicted felons who finish their prison sentences will still have to wait two years before they can vote in Nebraska.

Lawmakers on Monday fell short of the support needed to override Gov. Pete Ricketts' veto of a bill that would have eliminated the two-year waiting period. Senators needed 30 votes to override the governor, but the vote was 23-23.

The failed override attempt will keep a more restrictive voting law than found in 37 states and the District of Columbia.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha, says lawmakers who voted to sustain the veto supported "a past that is based and founded in racism, exclusion and fear." People of color make up about 15 percent of Nebraska's population but nearly half of its prison population.

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