Proposition 17, which will be on the November ballot, would allow people on parole with felony convictions to vote in the state. The state constitution currently disqualifies those residents from voting until their parole is complete.
Nineteen states allow people convicted with felonies to cast a ballot in elections, and advocates hope California will soon be added to the list. According to CalMatters, around 40,000 California residents have been released from prison but are unable to legally cast their vote. Proponents of Prop. 17, including the ACLU of California and the League of Women Voters, argue that encouraging those who have done their time to use their voice helps reintegrate them into society. But opponents of the ballot measure say the state has already taken steps to reform the criminal justice system. They believe those who have committed violent crimes should remain unable to vote until after they’ve completed their parole. Today on AirTalk, we discuss the pros and cons of Prop. 17. What are your thoughts on the initiative? Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.
Brittany Stonesifer, voting rights attorney at the ACLU of California
Ruth Weiss, director of legislative oversight for the Election Integrity Project California (EIPCa), a non-partisan organization that aims to protect the voting process