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S. 772 (114th): Democracy Restoration Act of 2015

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About the bill

4.4 million citizens with criminal records who have served their time remained barred from voting in federal elections.

It’s not only a civil rights issue but also a political issue: Criminal disenfranchisement laws may have swung Florida in the 2000 presidential election towards the Republicans and could have a similar effect again. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe caused controversy last month after unilaterally granting voting rights to 206,000 felons who had completed their sentences, in what is considered one of the three biggest swing states for November.

Each state sets their own rules for who is eligible to vote, so while the most lenient states like Vermont and Maine allow even currently incarcerated prisoners to vote, other states like Florida,Kentucky, and Iowa ban those with felony convictions from voting for life …

Sponsor and status

Benjamin Cardin

Sponsor. Senator for Maryland. Democrat.

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Last Updated: Mar 18, 2015
Length: 13 pages
Mar 18, 2015
114th Congress (2015–2017)
Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced on March 18, 2015, in a previous session of Congress, but it did not receive a vote.

Although this bill was not enacted, its provisions could have become law by being included in another bill. It is common for legislative text to be introduced concurrently in multiple bills (called companion bills), re-introduced in subsequent sessions of Congress in new bills, or added to larger bills (sometimes called omnibus bills).


17 Cosponsors (16 Democrats, 1 Independent)


Position statements

What legislators are saying

50th Anniversary Of Voting Rights Act
    — Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD] (Sponsor) on Aug 6, 2015

Booker, Cardin, Reid Introduce Bill to Create Nationwide Standard for Restoring Voting Rights to Americans Released from Prison
    — Sen. Cory Booker [D-NJ] (Co-sponsor) on Mar 18, 2015

Cardin, Mikulski Introduce Legislative Package to Restore Community Trust in Baltimore and Nationwide
    — Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD] (Sponsor) on Jun 18, 2015

More statements at ProPublica Represent...


Mar 18, 2015

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

S. 772 (114th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number S. 772. This is the one from the 114th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 114th Congress, which met from Jan 6, 2015 to Jan 3, 2017. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

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Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.