Rand Paul is hoping to rebrand the Republican Party as a party of opportunity and second chances with a bill that would restore the vote for those convicted of minor drug offenses.
Currently, states have felony disenfranchisement laws with varying levels of severity, resulting in approximately 5.85 million Americans who cannot vote because of criminal records. Disenfranchisement laws disproportionately affect African Americans, leaving one in thirteen African Americans unable to vote because of felony convictions.
Paul believes that his bill will answer critics who claim that Republicans want to restrict voting rights. "Here's a Republican who wants to enhance the vote," he said. "This is a much bigger problem than anything else limiting voting right now. Nearly a million people can't vote. And I want to help people get their right to vote back."