’s Eric Kiefer reports

NEWARK, NJ — A wave of formerly incarcerated people in New Jersey have taken their first steps towards voting in the 2020 election.

On Tuesday, former prisoners and civil rights advocates gathered at Bethany Baptist Church in Newark to mark the rollout of a new law restoring the voting rights of New Jersey residents on probation or parole.

The law, which Gov. Phil Murphy signed in December 2019, took effect today.

During the event, people such as Ron Pierce – who hasn’t been able to legally enter a voting booth in more than 30 years – filled out voter registration forms, sharing an emotional moment of having their voice returned after years of being “disenfranchised,” the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ) stated.