Senate puts off vote on veto override of felons' voting bill

Senate puts off vote to let felons vote earlier.

The Maryland Senate postponed an expected vote Friday that would let released felons vote before they complete parole or probation.

Senate leaders had planned Friday's vote after Sen. Craig Zucker, a Montgomery County Democrat, was sworn in Thursday. Zucker, who had been a delegate until he was appointed to fill a vacancy left by a fellow Democrat, was expected to provide the 29th vote needed to overturn Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of last year's legislation.

The vote was postponed until next week because Sen. Paul G. Pinsky, a Prince George's County Democrat, and Sen. Thomas M. Middleton, a Charles County Democrat, were excused Friday. Republican senators opposed the delay, but were overruled by a 2-1 margin.

Hogan has put heavy pressure on senators to uphold his veto, but with Zucker the chamber now has 29 members who previously supported the measure. Zucker previously voted for override in the House.

People convicted of felonies now must complete parole or probation before they become eligible to vote again. Proponents of the bill say letting them vote will help them reintegrate into society. Hogan says they should pay their full debt to society before voting.

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