March 3, 2023

STATEMENT: Institute for Responsive Government Celebrates Governor Walz’s Restore the Vote Bill Signing

For Immediate Release:
March 3, 2023

Mike Clement,

St. Paul, Minnesota — Earlier today, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed Restore the Vote into law. The bill will automatically restore voting rights for formerly incarcerated individuals upon release from prison ahead of completing parole or probation. The legislation will restore voting rights for more than 50,000 individuals currently on probation or supervised release when it takes effect on July 1st, 2023.

At the bill signing, Governor Walz commended the work of the advocates who “spent decades advocating for this piece of legislation, for that restorative justice piece that was so critical, that foundational piece of democracy. Year in and year out, they continued to make the case.” The governor also acknowledged the fundamental shift this legislation will have on democracy in Minnesota, stating that  “the idea of not allowing those voices to have a say in the very governing of the communities they live in is simply unacceptable.”

Sam Oliker-Friedland, executive director of the Institute for Responsive Government, shared the following statement:

“Congratulations to Governor Walz, the Minnesota Legislature, and the Restore the Vote leaders across the state that made this historic win possible! Getting this legislation across the finish line will finally allow tens of thousands of Minnesotans to participate in our democracy. Individuals on parole and probation are members of our community, plain and simple. We’re thrilled they will finally have a voice in our democracy. A truly responsive government has to include all voices.

“Today’s progress should also remind us that our work is not yet complete: The Minnesota State Legislature must move to pass secure automatic voter registration (SAVR) to not only ensure eligible voters are registered to vote and have their voice heard on Election Day, but also to alleviate any eligibility confusion for new returning citizens thanks to the passage of Restore the Vote.  SAVR creates a more efficient voter registration process through streamlining eligibility verification during certain government transactions, saving Minnesotia taxpayers time and money — all while improving the security, efficiency and accessibility of future elections. Let’s take today to celebrate, and tomorrow, let’s continue to work towards a more responsive government for the people of the North Star State!”

To speak with Executive Director Sam Oliker-Friedland about IRG’s work to make government more efficient, accessible and responsive, please contact Mike Clement at