Proposition 17: Letting parolees vote

The basics

What would Proposition 17 do?

Allow people on parole in California to vote.

The prop also would allow parolees to run for office if they’re registered to vote and haven’t been convicted of perjury or bribery. 

California now prohibits state prisoners and parolees from voting. People serving their sentences in county jails can vote, unless they’re  transferring to a state or federal prison, or they’re serving time for a parole violation. Sixteen other states and the District of Columbia allow people to vote once they’ve finished their prison sentences. Vermont and Maine let people vote while still in prison. 

Why am I voting on this?

The Legislature, by a two-thirds vote, approved placing this amendment to the state constitution on your ballot.

Supporters say

Civic engagement will lead to fewer parolees committing other crimes; it allows them to help remove the stigma of their past. People who complete their prison sentences deserve the right to participate in a democracy.

Opponents say

Parole is an opportunity for violent offenders to prove they’ve been rehabilitated. Voting is a right that offenders should receive once they demonstrate they have been rehabilitated; not before.

Who's for it:

  • League of Women Voters in California

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom

  • Californians for Safety and Justice

  • Democratic Assemblymember Kevin McCarty of Sacramento, who introduced the constitutional amendment

Who's against it:

  • Crime Victims United of California

  • Election Integrity Project California

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Our sponsors

Finances

How is this being bankrolled?

Major Donors in Support

  • Patty Quillin, philanthropist and wife of Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings

  • Susan Pritzker, philanthropist, Democratic donor and wife of Nicholas Pritzker, former CEO of the Hyatt Development Corporation

  • ACLU of Northern California

Major Donors in Opposition

  • none

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