Skip to main content

California Will Restore Voting Rights to 45,000 People on Community Supervision

August 05, 2015
California will end felony disenfranchisement for individuals under community supervision, restoring the voting rights of approximately 45,000 people with felony convictions.

California election officials are reversing a policy that prevents 45,000 people with past felony convictions from voting, placing the state in the forefront of a movement to boost voting rights for people with felony convictions.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced Tuesday that the state would settle litigation over laws that had barred people under community supervision with felony convictions from voting. In other words, the state will now back voting rights for individuals under community supervision, which is generally overseen by county probation departments.

The shift affects a growing number of individuals because under the state’s effort to reduce prison and jail crowding, many people convicted of non-violent offenses are being released into community supervision programs.

Restoring voting rights has become closely tied to nationwide efforts to reform the criminal justice system.

Eighteen states this year debated legislation to relax restrictions further, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

“We think that is in response to perceptions in the public, and the media, that this is a social policy issue, and it became obvious it was impacting democracy,” said Nicole D. Porter, director of advocacy for The Sentencing Project.

Read the full article in the Los Angeles Times.

Related Posts
April 11, 2022

#SecondChanceMonth: Unlock the Vote

Honoring April as Second Chance Month gives us an opportunity to check in on developments in voting rights and expanding the franchise to incarcerated voters. The Sentencing Project is working regularly with state and local campaigns to expand voting rights to justice impacted voters.
March 16, 2022

Opinion: Nearly 60 years after Voting Rights Act, some voter protections still undermined

Thousands of people in federal custody or who have been released still face roadblocks that prevent them from gaining full access to the ballot box. The Sentencing Project's Keeda Haynes penned an op-ed in USA Today that highlights the importance of universal suffrage.