Proposition 17 is a constitutional amendment that would allow people on parole for felony convictions to vote in California.
Currently, the California Constitution disqualifies people with felonies from voting until their imprisonment and parole are completed. The ballot measure would amend the state constitution to allow people with felonies who are on parole to vote; therefore, the ballot measure would keep imprisonment as a disqualification for voting but remove parole status. It is estimated that 50,000 parolees would have their voting rights reinstated if this measure pass
Taina Vargas-Edmond, executive director of Initiate Justice, stated, "The removal of the right to vote is not based in an interest in public safety. Rather, it is rooted in a punitive justice belief system that intentionally attempts to rob marginalized people of their political power."
The Brennan Center for Justice provided an argument to the state Legislature, which said, "California is one of only a handful of states that denies the right to vote to people on parole but allows people on probation to vote. Few people, including election administrators, understand the difference between probation and parole. And as Californians know, those distinctions are becoming increasingly opaque and confusing as new forms of supervision get created. The result is that eligible voters think that they cannot or refrain from voting out of fear that they may be breaking the law, a phenomenon we call "de facto disenfranchisement."