Did AB109 reinstate cons’ voting rights?

Feb 12th, 2014 | By | Category: Courts, Frivolous Inmate Lawsuits, Paco's Podium, Realignment, Spotlight

The ACLU claims AB109 eliminated the voting prohibition for offenders diverted to county authority.

The ACLU claims AB109 eliminated the voting prohibition for felons once diverted to county jurisdiction.

California Prison Realignment Complicates Voting Rights For Felons

Megan Burks | KPBS

…California’s prison realignment effort has drawn up a complicated matrix of detention options for felons, and with it a lot of confusion about which ones can vote. It’s the subject of a lawsuit alleging the state has unconstitutionally stripped nearly 60,000 Californians of their right to vote.

The American Civil Liberties Union of California and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area filed the petition in Alameda County Superior Court on Tuesday. The suit is on behalf of All of Us or None, a civil rights group for people previously or currently incarcerated, the League of Women Voters of California and three individuals who cannot vote under new rules enacted in response to realignment.

The state constitution prohibits from voting people who are “imprisoned or on parole for conviction of a felony.” The language was clear when offenders fell under two categories: the state’s responsibility or a California county’s responsibility.

But realignment has created a hybrid system, putting low-level felons who would have otherwise gone to prison under county supervision, through jail or probation.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen issued a memo in 2011 saying those in the new class of offenders can’t vote. It’s the same sentence; it’s just happening in a different place, according to Bowen…(Full text at KPBS)

Sponsored Content

3 Comments to “Did AB109 reinstate cons’ voting rights?”

  1. kl2008a says:

    The Democrats would love to have the felon vote, but right now, they’re happy with the illegal aliens who do along with those who get bussed in from out of State. Speaking of that subject, when was the last time ACORN visited YOUR neighborhood?

  2. Bob Walsh says:

    It is a legitimate question. I do not believe it was the intent of the legislation to reenfranchise convicted felons but who knows what the courts will say? Especially in California the courts, both federal and state, have been known to discover new rights for all manner of people, just laying there under the couch cushions along with loose change and cough drop wrappers.

    • pacovilla says:

      Regardless of the outcome, the impact will be de minimis. Our charges are no more likely to register and vote than are canines and the dead, who show up on the voter registration rolls from time to time. Convicts are not political animals.