Prop 17 will amend the California Constitution so that Californians who have completed their prison term can fully participate in our democracy by restoring their right to vote.
Right now 50,000 Californians who have completed their prison term CAN’T VOTE
Nearly 50,000 Californians who have returned home from prison can’t vote even though they are raising families, holding jobs, paying taxes, and contributing to society in every other way. They should be encouraged to reenter society and have a stake in their community, not be punished by having their voting rights denied. Prop 17 will right this injustice and restore voting rights to Californians returning home from prison.
Democracy Needs Everyone
Biases in the criminal justice system mean that poor people and people of color are more likely than others to be convicted of crimes and to lose their voting rights, while wealthy people can always afford the best lawyers.
We can’t have an elected government that represents all of us when some members of our community are being excluded from our elections and denied the ability to participate in our democracy.
Our democracy is stronger when it is fair and inclusive. Stripping the right to vote from formerly incarcerated people is a form of voter suppression that is deeply out of step with our values.
Civic Engagement Makes Communities Safer
When people feel that they are valued members of their community, and that their voices matter and concerns are addressed, they are less likely to re-engage in criminal activity.
Evidence shows that people who are able to become civically engaged in their communities after they are released are actually three times more likely to never be arrested again.
“No other democracy in the world restricts people with felony convictions from voting for life.”
– Human Rights Watch