We Demand A Civic Right to Vote While on Parole
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In 1850 California enacted its felony disenfranchisement law which stated, "Laws shall be made to exclude from... the right of suffrage those who shall hereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crimes." The constitution also specifically bars from voting "those convicted of any infamous crime." As UC Berkeley News writer Jonathan Simon accurately stated, “Today, parole supervision involves an additional sentence of up to three years of correctional custody in the community, for all prisoners released from a California prison. During this time, the ex-prisoner is "supervised" by a parole agent and subject to numerous conditions (such as allowing police searches of one's home and person, not using illegal drugs, and obeying all orders of one's parole agent).” There are over 50,000 individuals currently on parole in CA. African-Americans remain over-represented, making up 26% of those on parole, while only 6% of the adult state population. Felon disenfranchisement is unconstitutional! Individuals who have completed their terms of physical confinement and have reintegrated back into the community should be allowed to vote.
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