‘The right direction to go’ “A lot of this is a civil rights issue. If someone has done their time and they‘re out among us, paying taxes, riding the bus, trying to remake their lives, trying to be a good example to their kids, it just seems to make sense to me (to let them vote). You’ve done your time and, you know, there are all these studies and other things that show (voting) is pro-social behavior. It makes people feel more invested.

They’re less likely to offend. I think that’s a good thing, a good example to their kids. It makes them feel like they’re part owners again of society. And, hopefully, they’ve learned a lesson, and I think it’s the right direction to go. …

“If not this year, (it’ll pass) soon. You talk about bipartisan (support). You look at the bill authors on that bill; I mean it’s not one of those, like, fake bipartisan bills, where you get, you know, 30 of one party and one of the other and then people put out a press release and scream, ‘bipartisan!’ That game: I’ve seen that up close. Here you have true, deep, numerous conservative Republicans on the bill and true, deep, numerous liberal Democrats on the bill. Not just one token or three, I’m talking, like, eight. It’s really one of those meet-in-the-middle issues. … This is an idea that is worth pursuing and will be done sooner rather than later.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, in an interview Thursday with the News Tribune Opinion page