At a time when some elections are decided by margins of less than 50 votes, it is all the more important to allow as much participation as possible. In the 2014 election cycle in Prince George's County there was a county council primary election decided by six votes, in Baltimore County there was a House primary election decided by 34 votes, and in Southern Maryland there was a House general election decided by 76 votes. If our goal is to elect the best public servants, how can we leave anyone out of the conversation? By expanding voting rights we can help move toward that end. House Bill 980 also makes administration of the law much simpler. If we can see you, you can vote — the wisdom of this approach cannot go unstated. There are those who may disagree with this measure — and those concerns do not go unheard. The point of this measure is the recognition that we all make poor choices at times, but what matters is what we do to lift ourselves up again. This bill gives ex-offenders the tools they need to lift themselves up again.