Tags: Voting Rights | Recidivism Rates | California | Prisons | Felons

California to Grant Voting Rights to 45,000 Felons

Image: California to Grant Voting Rights to 45,000 Felons
(Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 04 Aug 2015 05:28 PM

Tens of thousands of state felons in California will be allowed to vote after its secretary of state said he won't appeal a 2014 court decision that blocked them from doing so.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Sec. of State Alex Padilla announced Tuesday he will not fight the court case, which will allow 45,000 released felons to line up at the polls and cast their ballots.

Padilla took office in January and inherited an appeal by his predecessor Debra Bowen, who was fighting a May 2014 court decision that gave felons on county probation the right to vote.

"It is not lost on me, that persons of color are disproportionately represented in our correctional institutions and that undeniable disparities exist," Padilla said, reports the Times.

"No construction of an election law should be indulged that would disenfranchise any voter if the law is reasonably susceptible of any other meaning."

In 2011, according to the Sacramento Bee, Bowen enacted a rule that lumped felony offenders released into county-run probation programs with felons on state parole, which prevented them from voting. A May 2014 challenge to that rule, however, changed the classification given to offenders in the county probation programs, which were initially set up to help control California's prison population.

According to the Bee, Padilla said one of the keys to stopping the flow of offenders into jails and prisons is granting them suffrage.

"If we are serious about slowing the revolving door at our jails and prisons, and serious about reducing recidivism, we need to engage — not shun — former-offenders," Padilla said. "Voting is a key part of that engagement; it is part of a process of becoming vested and having a stake in the community."

The ACLU, which was part of the 2014 appeal to erase Bowen's rule, said it was satisfied with Tuesday's news.

"[Padilla's decision] sends the nation a message that California will not stand for discrimination in voting and that he will fight to protect the right to vote for all eligible Californians," ACLU spokesman Anna Castro said, reports the Bee.

Los Angeles Chief Probation Officer Jerry Powers told the San Francisco Gate, "They're going to be better, more productive members of our society."

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
US
Tens of thousands of state felons in California will be allowed to vote after its secretary of state said he won't appeal a 2014 court decision that blocked them from doing so.
Recidivism Rates, California, Prisons, Felons
372
2015-28-04
Tuesday, 04 Aug 2015 05:28 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved