New York Amsterdam News’ Cyril Josh Barker reports

Ron Pierce always valued the right to vote and remembers Election Day being meaningful in his house growing up. Thanks to a new law that took effect in New Jersey, the former inmate is casting his first ballot in nearly 35 years.

Pierce is one of 83,000 people on probation and parole in the Garden State who can now register to vote thanks to legislation that went into effect on March 17 allowing them to do so. In January, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill restoring the right to vote for residents on probation or parole.