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.Action ItemsCalifornia

CA: May 9 Hearing Scheduled for Bill That Would Disenfranchise SVP’s

The Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee is scheduled to hear AB 2839 which, if passed, would disenfranchise hundreds of men who are otherwise eligible to vote and have been designated sexually violent predators at Coalinga State Hospital.

The hearing will take place on May 9 at 9 a.m. in Room 444 of the State Capitol.

“ACSOL encourages its members to attend this hearing in order to protect the voting rights of almost one thousand registrants,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci.

AB 2839 was introduced by Assembly member Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) who represents a district that includes both the City of Coalinga as well as Coalinga State Hospital. Specifically, the bill would require Coalinga patients to vote in the location where they lived prior to their commitment to the state hospital.

“Because many patients at Coalinga Hospital have been incarcerated or civilly committed for 30 years or more and they are likely to live the rest of their lives at the hospital,” stated Bellucci. “If they are not allowed to vote in Coalinga city elections, they will be disenfranchised.”

Dr. Arambula introduced AB 2839 after patients at Coalinga State hospital defeated a City of Coalinga measure that would have increased city sales tax by one percent. The Coalinga State Hospital patients pay Coalinga City sales tax when they purchase items at a hospital store and restaurant.

The legislation also follows a lawsuit filed by the City of Coalinga against Fresno County which attempts to invalidate past votes taken by Coalinga patients as well as to prevent future votes in city elections. A court hearing on this matter is scheduled in Fresno Superior Court on April 27.

AB 2839

Join the discussion

  1. Joe

    “Existing law defines a “residence” for voting purposes to mean a person’s domicile, and provides that the domicile of a person is that place in which his or her habitation is fixed, wherein the person has the intention of remaining, and to which, whenever he or she is absent, the person has the intention of returning.”

    If they have to vote at their last place of “residence”, would they not have to register said residence annually with the law enforcement agency in that jurisdiction within 5 days of their birthdays – in person? And if they don’t show up? Felony Failure to Register. And if they attempt to register a residence where they do not actually reside? Felony Failure to Register.

    Oooohh… this is so confusing.

    Actually, I hope this passes. While a short term set back for those currently effected, in the long run it clearly shows that this “hospitalization” is nothing but prison incarceration.

    • Timmmy

      Well, I would say remove their voting power, but exempt them from all taxes then. Simple

  2. TS

    Even if CSH residents were deemed homeless, they could still vote in CA which means they could still vote within CSH for election matters on the ballot in Coalinga and Fresno County as I read it. (Both state law and judicial rulings support the right of homeless persons to register to vote. They may register to vote as long as they maintain a fixed location where they can receive mail and at which they can be properly assigned to a precinct. (Elections Code section 2027))

    I think Joe has a good point too about residences and registries (Reference The Elections Code which requires you to register to vote using the address of your domicile in the county in which you reside. “Domicile” is defined as the place where you live, where your habitation is fixed, and where you intend to remain and return to whenever you are absent from it. (Elections Code sections 321, 349, 2020-2034)).

    http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/publications-and-resources/voting-law-compliance-handbook/

    This could pass, but would be immediately challenged in court and an injunction could be placed preventing enactment.

    What the legislator is trying to do is the military home of record attempt where you declare your home of record in another state. The military member intends to return there upon retirement and can use it for tax and receiving mail purposes in the meantime. Of course, the military member is voluntarily stationed out of their home of record, whereas CSH residents are not.

  3. cool CA RC

    So, this mean that Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) who REALLY DOES NOT represents Coalinga State Hospital.

  4. Tim Moore

    This is democracy in reverse. Now the politicians will disenfranchise voters if they don’t like the way they vote. Why are we investigating Putin and Russia meddling in our democracy? Voter suppression is a home grown affair. So called sex offenders are test cases for many more oppressive laws to come.

  5. Tim Moore

    Hopefully, the state can’t make special voting laws for differing groups of voters. That’s Jim Crow again.

  6. Duane Webb

    Civil Commitment is just another term for ‘Indefinite Detention’ i.e. Unconstitutional, False Imprisonment, Wrongful Incarceration…however you look at it it’s a crime against a U.S. Citizen.

  7. Agamemnon

    If they don’t want the registrants to vote in their county, then maybe they shouldn’t involuntarily intern them in that hospital for an indeterminate amount of time, epsecially after they have already served their sentences.

    • Tim Lawver

      That scotus in Kansas V. Hendricks upheld civil commitment against ex post attack claiming neither Punitive in intent of effect reflects just how much our democracy is……..

      A SHAM IN MERE PREAMBLE!

  8. totally against public registry

    I will be there at the court, Janice. This is such an injustice to these citizens, who already have served their sentences. The hospital administration stopped only access to the outside world when they took away patients’ electronics and now step by step they want to disenfranchise these citizens to nothingness. This is really crazy. No one deserves to be involuntarily committed to a hospital [maximum security prison] for the rest of their lives.

  9. totally against public registry

    Janice, do you advise writing to Chair of Elections and Redistricting Committee Marc Berman and his Vice Chair Matthew Harper? And if so, can you provide a sample letter. Thank you

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