July 11, 2012
CONSEQUENCES OF A FELONY CONVICTION ON THE RIGHT TO HOLD PUBLIC OFFICE
By: Kristin Sullivan, Principal Analyst
You asked whether a person who is convicted of a felony may hold public office as a member of the Connecticut General Assembly.
A person forfeits his or her right to be an elector, and all accompanying electoral privileges, upon conviction of a felony and commitment to any state or federal prison. These privileges include the right to vote, run for public office, and hold an office (CGS § 9-46).
But the law allows these rights to be restored after a felon has paid all fines and completed any required prison and parole time (CGS § 9-46a). (A person convicted of an election-related crime under Title 9 of the General Statutes must also complete any probation time.) This means that a former felon who meets these requirements and is otherwise qualified for admission as an elector may run for and hold public office as a General Assembly member after registering to vote.
For more information on how electoral status and privileges are restored, see “Restoration of Voting Rights of Convicted Felons,” on the secretary of the state's website.
Connecticut Secretary of the State, “Restoration of Voting Rights of Convicted Felons,” http://www.sots.ct.gov/sots/lib/sots/electionservices/hava/havapdf/the_ultimate_freedom.pdf