Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula (Democrat, Fresno) has introduced a bill (AB 2839) that would disenfranchise patients at Coalinga State Hospital, including patients that recently defeated a proposed tax increase attempted by the City of Coalinga. The district represented by Assemblyman Arambula includes both Coalinga State Hospital as well as the City of Coalinga.
The proposed bill, if passed, would require anyone adjudicated as a “sexually violent predator” (SVP) and committed to the custody of the State Department of Hospitals for “an indeterminate term” to vote at their “last known address.” Because individuals who are adjudicated as SVP’s were imprisoned prior to their adjudication, these individuals would be required to vote at the prison where they previously resided.
“Most individuals adjudicated as SVP’s have little or no chance to be released from Coalinga State Hospital,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “Therefore, they should be allowed to continue to vote where they actually live which is in the City of Coalinga.”
Following their unsuccessful attempt to increase taxes, the City of Coalinga sued Fresno County in an attempt to negate the votes cast in that election by patients at Coalinga State Hospital. A motion to intervene in the case has been filed by a group of Coalinga patients and a hearing on that motion will be heard on March 7.