*This letter has been submitted to the MN House of Representatives and is additionally being submitted to the MN Senate regarding their bills being heard for voting rights restoration for people in the state on probation or parole. If you are a clergy member who would like to sign, please do so here:

To the Members of the Minnesota House and Senate,

As clergy and faith leaders across Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions, representing congregations across Minnesota, we urge our state elected officials to support the full restoration of voting rights to Minnesotans in our communities on probation and parole.

Faith leaders, like most Minnesotans, recognize that people who have experienced incarceration need to experience restoration and redemption in society. Restoring their rights of citizenship, restores them of their voice and dignity.

Every citizen of the United States has an obligation and a duty to vote. Voting is a right that cannot and should not be taken away from any citizen of the U.S. No matter your race, area code, or income, every Minnesota citizen has an equal say in what happens in our state and our community. Denying Minnesotans the ability to vote not only denies a right, but it denies them the ability to fulfill their civic obligation to our democracy.

Minnesota has long been a leader when it comes to democracy and restoring the right to vote will bring the freedom to vote back to over 55,000 Minnesotans. All of their voices matter and we can’t leave any of them behind.

Over 55,000 Minnesota citizens have had their freedom to vote blocked, even though they have completed their prison sentence and returned home to raise families, work jobs, pay taxes and contribute to society. They should be encouraged to reenter society and have a stake in their community, not be punished by having their voting rights denied. 

Furthermore, well documented biases in the criminal justice system mean that poor people and people of color are more likely to be incarcerated than their white counterparts. For many people, life after prison means partial citizenship, as formerly incarcerated people often experience limited opportunities for employment, housing, and voting. As we work to reimagine our criminal legal system to be more fair and equitable, one of the first changes we can make is to restore voting rights to people who are most impacted by that system, inside and outside prisons.

We can’t have an elected government that represents all of us when some groups are being excluded from our elections and denied the ability to participate in our democracy.

We’re counting on your leadership at this crucial moment, because there is no freedom without the freedom to vote.

The Undersigned:

Rev. Keith Olstad,   Minneapolis
Mr   Randall Romsdahl,  Minnetonka
Rev. James Erlandson,    Maplewood
Rev. Jen Nagel,    Minneapolis
Rev. Anita Hill,    Saint Paul
Rev. Bonnie Forsman,     Eagan
Rev. Sandy Dodson,        South St Paul
Rev  Sarah Campbell,      Minneapolis
Rev  Thomas von Fischer,   Wayzata
Mr.  Bruce Pederson,      St Louis Park
Rev. Dr. Justin Lind-Ayres,  St Louis Park
Deacon Dr. Amy Blumenshine,       Minneapolis
Rev. Jane McBride, Minneapolis
Rev  Dwight Wagenius,   Minneapolis
Rev. Martha Bardwell,    Minneapolis
Pastor  Henry Gunnink,       Inver Grove Heights
Fr.    Dale Korogi,    Minneapolis
Rev. Carolyn Fure-Slocum, Northfield
Rev  James Alberts,         Saint Joseph
Rev. Amy Wick Moore,   New Brighton
Rev. Peter Weston Miller, Saint Paul
Rev. Richard Sellers,  Minneapolis
Rev. Todd Lippert, Northfield
Rev. Emily Goldthwaite, Minneapolis
Ms.  Melissa Miller,         Golden Valley
Rev. Donald Fulton,        Minneapolis
Rev  Robert Nelson,        Rochester
Rev. Paula Nordhem,      Burnsville
Rev. Mary Shaffer, St Louis Park
Rev. Dr. Joy McDonald Coltvet,      Saint Paul
Rev. Andrew Davis,         Saint Peter
Rev. Rebecca Voelkel,     Minneapolis
Rev. Eliot Howard, Edina
Rev  Leah Rosso, Sartell
Rev  Justin Chapman,     Rochester
Dr.   David Wetzell,         Andover
Pastor  Robert Dahl,    Willmar
Rev  BARBARA MARTIN, Minneapolis
Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer,   Rochester
Min. JaNae Bates,    Saint Paul
Rev. Rex McKee, St Louis Park
Ms.  Ann Beane,  Minneapolis
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie,     Saint Paul
Rev. Suzanne Owens-Pike, Minneapolis
Rev. Jan Skogstrom,        Minneapolis
Rev. Miriam Samuelson-Roberts,   Minneapolis
Ms.  Renee Domeier,      Saint Cloud
Imam   Mohamed Omar,    Bloomington
Pastor  Nathan Roberts,      Minneapolis
Rabbi   Emma Kippley-Ogman,       Saint Paul
Rev. Molly Cox,   Minneapolis
Sister   Betty Kenny,   Saint Paul
Imam   Asad Zaman,   Saint Paul
Mr.  Vernon Rice,   Mounds View
Father Paul Jaroszeski,       Ramsey
Rev. Robert Lyndes,        New Brighton
Rev. Dr. Elisabeth Johnson,    Saint Paul
Ms.  Karen Johnson,       Minneapolis
Rev. Alan Bray,    Saint Peter
Rev  Nancy Anderson,    Minneapolis
Rev. Theresa Roos, Richfield
Rev. Dr. Gary Titusdahl,      Minneapolis
Rev. Howard Bell,   Eagan
Rev  Margaret Thompson, Columbia Heights
Deacon Carl Valdez,    Minneapolis
Rev. Karen Larson, Minneapolis
Rev. Jennifer Rome,        Saint Paul
Pastor  Chrissie Carver,       Rosemount
Rev  John Omans,   Waseca
Rev. Matthias Peterson-Brandt, Saint Paul
Rev  Lisa Janke,   Rochester
Rev. Carol Shaffer, Rochester
Rev. Gregory Dana,         Saint Paul
Rev. Dr. Glenn Monson,      Rochester
Rev. Bonnie Wilcox,        Saint Paul
Pastor  Jenna Daniels,         Saint Paul
Rev. Hans Jorgensen,      Roseville
Rev. Christa Forsythe,     Atwater
Deacon Carole Joyce, Rochester
Rev. Dr. Karen Sellers,        Minneapolis
Rev. Daniel Belgum,        Morris
Pastor  Ole Olson,   Buffalo
Rev  Gregory Gilbert,      St Paul
Rabbi   Alexander Davis,     St Louis Park
Rabbi   David Locketz,         Minnetonka
Rev. Terri Burnor,   Saint Paul
Rabbi   Adam Spilker, Saint Paul
Rabbi   Tamar Magill-Grimm, St. Paul
Rabbi   Lynn Liberman,       St Paulrabbi
Rev. David Landt,    Minnetonka
Rev. Peter Christ,    Roseville
Pr.    Becky Swanson,      Garrison
Rev Dr Rachael Keefe,        West St Paul
Rev. Penelope Tower,     Richfield
Rev. Dr. Justin Sabia-Tanis, Golden Valley
Miss Melody Olson,        Saint Paul
Rev. Rob Smith,  Burnsville
Rev.  Micah Witham,       West Saint Paul
Rev. Lynn Scott,  Roseville
Rev.  Maria Anderson-Lippert,    Bloomington
Rev.  Allan Negstad,         Saint Paul
Mrs. Cathy Solomon,      Centerville
Rev. Corinne Freedman Ellis,      Saint Paul
Rev. Cindy Maddox,        Northfield
Mr.   Walid Shadi,    Blaine
Pastor  Kathy Redig,    Winona
Rev. Vicki Lambert,         Red Wing
Rev. Jo Cassiday-Maloney, Apple Valley
Dr.   Kevin Cassiday-Maloney,    Apple Valley
Rabbi   Arielle Lekach-Rosenberg,  Minneapolis
Rabbi   Debra Rappaport,   Minneapolis
Rabbi   Tamar Magill-Grimm, Saint Paul
Rabbi   Jessica Rosenberg,  Minneapolis
Rabbi   Justin Held, St Louis Park
Rabbi   Jill Avrin,      Hopkins
Rabbi   Yosi Gordon,   Mendota Heights
Rabbi   David Steinberg,     Duluth
Rev.  Hans Peterson,        Belle Plaine
Rabbi   Adam Rubin,   Saint Paul
Chaplain Lisa Lynott-Carroll,   Saint Cloud
The Rev. Lydia Brown,        North Oaks
Mrs. Sara Spang, Saint Paul
Pastor  Brian Herron, Minneapolis
Dr.   Hassan hassan,       Saint Paul
Rev. Elijah McDavid III,   Minneapolis
Rev. Jerry McAfee   Minneapolis