Skip to Content

California to reinstate prisoners’ voting rights

California voters may decide whether to give prisoners their voting rights back.

(CNN/KYMA, KECY) – California voters may decide whether to give prisoners their voting rights back.

"We know that the right to vote is inalienable," said Los Angeles assembly member Isaac Bryan.

"It's something that belongs to everybody. A thriving democracy is one where everyone participates."

Bryan is pitching a plan that would allow inmates to cast a ballot behind bars.

"We've carved out people from participating in our democracy for a long time: women, people of color, black folks, non-property owners, non-white Christian men," said Bryan.

"Right at the beginning, we've taken steps forward on this. I believe is one of the final steps forward in California."

Right now, California is one of 21 states where felons only lose their right to vote, while incarcerated.

Once they're released, that right is reinstated.

Assembly member Bryan says voting gives people a greater connection to their community.

"People who vote who are incarcerated in other jurisdictions, people who now currently vote on parole in California; they are less likely to recidivate," said Bryan. "Less likely to engage in acts of violence and less likely to come into contact with the criminal legal system."

The push comes after two other law changes which softened restrictions on prisoners being allowed to head to the polls.

In 2016, lawmakers agreed to let people in county jails vote.

In 2020, California voters approved Prop 17; which allowed parolees to take part in the democratic process.

But critics are panning the proposal, saying it is a betrayal of crime victims.

Republican assemblyman Tom Lackey wrote on Twitter: "Criminal acts should have consequences. Voting is a sacred privilege, not an absolute right of citizenship."

Article Topic Follows: California News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Jalen Fong

Jalen joined KYMA in 2022 and is a morning anchor/producer. Send your story ideas to him at:

CNN Newsource


KYMA KECY is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content