A bill passed last year in the Maryland General Assembly goes into effect, restoring voting rights to about 40,000 ex-prisoners. Governor Larry Hogan vetoed the bill.
[But Maryland's General Assembly, under pressure from voters and those unable to vote in an area fed up after Freddie Gray's death among other things, overrode that veto]
At least 25 groups—representing low-income people, incarcerated people, union members, and people of color—championed the bill, which was originally introduced in 2015, and helped it overcome the governor’s veto. The coalition branded itself as "UNLOCK THE VOTE"
Most of these groups traditionally focused on issues other than voting rights. But organizers realized that their low-income members were struggling to secure housing, receive education grants, or pass background checks necessary for jobs. Meanwhile, many of them were powerless to support policy changes because they were disenfranchised. The law suppressed voting among the community, too.