EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Should convicted felons be allowed to vote, or even run for office? Californians have a chance to answer that question with their ballot come November 3rd.
California is one of the three states that requires people convicted of felonies to complete their prison and parole sentences before regaining their right to vote.
Proposition 17 would give people on parolees the right to vote. It would also let them run for office, provided they weren't found guilty of perjury or bribery.
The average parole for a felony charge is five years.
Prop 17 aims to restore voting rights to about 50 thousand people in the state of California. It claims parolees are disproportionately minorities.
Opponents of the proposition say voting is a privilege not a right.
The Imperial County republicans say they reject Governor Gavin Newsom and the Democrats continued attempt to put politics over crime victims. Democrats want to give 40,000 convicted rapists, murderers, and violent criminals the right to vote before they complete their sentences. These criminals are still serving out their sentences. They are limited from specific movements, associations, activities, and even ownership of certain items and are regularly monitored by law enforcement.
“If a person serves their time and pays their debt to society, they should have a right to vote,” said Vice Chairman of the Imperial County Democrats Hilton Smith.
“No taxation without representation” is the political slogan supporters of this prop are reviving-claiming that felons are paying taxes and are not being represented in society,
“They go back to work, pay taxes, and raise families and the one thing we don’t give them is a fair stake in democracy,” said Democrat, Shay Clausen.