Can a Felon Vote in California?

The state of California became part of the United States on September 9, 1850. It has the greatest population among all states, with Sacramento alone having a population of around 486,000. It is also the most populated county among all other states.

As of 2010, the total number of incarcerated people reached up to 162,006 with 152,418 of them being male while the remaining 9,588 are composed of females.

Because former inmates also have the potential to change, both in values and overall mindset, they should be given the right to vote. Their chance of reform should also come with voting rights.

Can Felons Vote in California?

Felons currently cannot vote in California. Such will apply to those currently serving a sentence in jail. Those who are on probation are allowed to vote as long as they are not participating in realignment at a county jail

Citizens who have committed a misdemeanor, are on probation, mandatory supervision and post-release community supervision may vote.

Whether those who have committed crimes (excluding minor crimes) are on parole or incarcerated, they have no opportunity to vote until their sentence has been finished.

Those who have committed misdemeanors and other minor crimes are not considered felons, thus, they don’t fall under the same consequence of not being able to vote.

How Felons can Restore Voting Rights in California?

Regardless of how long their imprisonment or parole was or the crime they were convicted with, felons can restore their voting rights as soon as:

  • Their sentence has been finished (this includes all fines and time constraints)
  • They register for the first or succeeding time after their release

In the case of a finished sentence, a felon’s voting rights are automatically reestablished. Special cases such as those in which a felon is still awaiting a court decision will require county consultation. It is also possible for a previous convict to contact their local election department to check their qualifications regarding their voting status.

Sources

www.ca.gov

http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Reports_Research/Offender_Information_Services_Branch/Annual/CalPris/CALPRISd2010.pdf

http://www.ppic.org/main/publication_show.asp?i=702

http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-resources/voting-california/who-can-vote-california/voting-rights-californians/

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