ballot.fyi
ballot.fyi
California Props 2020

Prop 17 allows parolees to vote

Published: Mon, Oct 12, 2020, 7:50 PM
Updated: Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 1:35 AM
ballot.fyi
ballot.fyi
California Props 2020

Prop 17 allows parolees to vote

Published: Mon, Oct 12, 2020, 7:50 PM
Updated: Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 1:35 AM

This one is as straight-forward as it gets. Should people who have served their sentence in state prison be able to vote while on parole? California has about 50,000 such parolees.

Simply put, parole is a re-entry program for people who have served their sentence in a California state prison. Once out, parolees are supervised by parole agents who sometimes assist parolees with housing, employment, medical care, or social activities. The Department of Corrections can vary the intensity of the supervision, and parolees must abide to certain conditions during parole, such as being searched without warrant at any time. The average length is three years, but it can go up to life, in the case of convicted murderers.

Currently, parolees cannot vote. Prop 17, if passed, would allow parolees to vote.

Advocates say...

The Yes side says that California is behind other states on this: 17 states + DC allow those on parole to vote. They say people on parole have served their time and repaid their debt to society, and that allowing them to vote will help them reintegrate into society by investing in it. The Yes side also notes that these people are disproportionately Black and Latino men.

Critics say...

The (much smaller) No side says that those who go to state prison have committed felonies, serious and violent crimes. They see parole as the "final part of their sentence", and that they need to first show they have readjusted to society before being able to vote. They say letting them vote would be an injustice to the victims of these former felons.

Note: We intentionally omit links to arguments & rebuttals found in CA's official voter guide. We believe they exaggerate claims, are not fact-checked, and use ALL CAPS irresponsibly.