Dispelling ‘Homie to Homie’ Advice: Voting Rights for Californians with Criminal Convictions or Detained in Jail or Prison

Because there always seems to be some confusion around the issue of who can vote when it comes to felony convictions in California, and because we do such a poor job of getting the right information out to the people who need it before the deadline to register to vote, here is what you need to know and share.

First, the deadline to vote in the upcoming California June 2014 Primary Election is May 19.

Second, you can register to vote if you are

  • A citizen of the United States of America;
  • A resident of California;
  • At least 18 years of age or older on or before election day;
  • Not in prison, on parole, serving a state prison sentence in county jail, serving a sentence for a felony pursuant to subdivision (h) of Penal Code section 1170, or on post release community supervision; and
  • Not found mentally incompetent by a court of law.

So to be clear, you can vote if you are

  • Not in prison
  • Not on parole
  • Not serving a state prison sentence in a county jail
  • Not serving a sentence for a felony
  • Not on post release community supervision

Third, you can vote if you are

  • In county jail serving a misdemeanor sentence. A misdemeanor never affects your right to vote.
  • In county jail because jail time is a condition of probation.
  • On probation.
  • Done with parole, mandatory supervision, or post release community supervision. Your right to vote is automatically restored when parole or supervision is done.

Remember, you need to re-register to vote when:

  • You move to a new permanent residence,
  • You change your name, or
  • You change your political party choice.

Finally, you can click here to register to vote.

This has been a public service announcement brought to you be the letters “V,” “O,” “T,” and “E.”

#MyHoodVotes

The Court of Public Opinion