California Proposition 17: Restoring the voting rights of people on parole

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Voting yes on Prop 17 means giving people back their right to vote after they’ve served their prison sentence. This affects about 50,000 Californians.

Voting no on Prop 17 means people would remain unable to cast an election ballot while on parole, or the supervision that follows the completion of a prison sentence. This could last a few years or in some cases, the rest of a person’s life.

Supporters: The California Democratic Party, along with ACLU of California and other activists, have pushed for the passage of Prop 17. “Parole by definition is not punishment — it’s to help reintegrate people back into the mainstream,” state Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, a Democrat from Sacramento, told CalMatters.

Critics: Republican state Sen. Jim Nielsen argues that consequences of crime include serving a parole period. “The victims cannot so blithely put the crimes behind them,” he told the Associated Press.

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