With it being an election year, and a big Presidential Election at that, many of you with loved ones who have a criminal history, or are currently serving time, are probably wondering if they are eligible to vote in November. You may be wondering about your own eligibility, because of your own criminal past. Here is the breakdown for California’s voting rights for residents with criminal history.
First, voters must be a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years old.
- Misdemeanors do not affect your right to vote. You can be in county jail serving a misdemeanor sentence and still be allowed to register and vote.
- You can be on probation and still be allowed to register and vote.
- You may not register and vote if you are in state prison, or in a county jail serving a state prison sentence.
- You may not register and vote if you are on parole.
- Voting rights are automatically restored once parole is completed. No further action, like filling out paperwork, is required of you.
Aside from this voting talk, is the talk of bailing people out of jail. Bail bonds work only for those who have been arrested and are waiting for, or are currently on, trial. Bail bonds do not work for those who have already been convicted, or those who have been denied bail. People who have been arrested, but not yet convicted may register and vote.