During last night’s Republican Convention, Donald Trump pardoned Jon D. Ponder, a formerly incarcerated Nevadan who founded Hope for Prisoners, a Las Vegas organization that helps criminal offenders re-enter the workforce. During the ceremony, Trump extolled the importance of a “second chance.” Online, Nevada Republicans echoed his call. Yet, when they had the opportunity to offer a second chance to formerly incarcerated Nevadans, these very Republicans attempted to deny thousands of Nevadans restoration of their voting rights.
Assemblyman Hafen, Assemblyman Roberts, and Assemblywoman Hardy all praised the “greatness of second chances,” but voted against Assembly Bill 431 which, thanks to the leadership of Speaker Jason Frierson, Governor Sisolak, and Nevada Democrats, became law in 2019, restoring some 77,000 Nevadans’ sacred right to vote.
Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Madison Mundy released the following statement:
“During last night’s televised ceremony, Trump pledged to give all Americans, including the formerly incarcerated, ‘the best chance to build a new life and achieve their own American dream.’ But Trump’s trumpeting of a “Land of Opportunity,” the RNC theme of the night, rang hollow.
“In practice, Trump’s America is no land of opportunity. Trump has failed to respond to coronavirus, which is still killing Americans at a rate of about 1000 deaths a day. His economic agenda slowed job and wage growth, rewarding the wealthy at the expense of hard working Americans. His immigration policies have terrorized families seeking safety and a better life — the American dream. Meanwhile, as Nevada Democrats fought first to restore voting rights in 2019, and then protect voting rights in 2020, Nevada Republicans merely parroted the voter suppression playbook outlined by their Commander-in-Chief. With their skewed priorities, Nevada Republicans and Trump refuse to give Nevadans a chance. This November, Nevadans will return the favor: There will be no second chances for Donald Trump.”