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CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The Wyoming House has defeated a bill that would have allowed nonviolent felons to get their civil rights restored immediately after serving their sentences or finishing parole or probation.

The House on Thursday failed to give the bill the two-thirds vote required for introduction.

Sponsor Dan Zwonitzer, a Cheyenne Republican, said Wyoming is among the most restrictive states in regard to restoring rights as voting and gun ownership to felons.

Under the current law, Wyoming felons must wait five years after serving their sentences and apply to the board of parole.

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Attorney General Eric Holder this week called on Wyoming and other states to restore felons' voting rights. He said doing so would fix flaws in the criminal justice system that have a disproportionate effect on racial minorities.

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