The mid-term election will take place in about two months. And it is important that your voice as well as the voices of all eligible registrants be heard in that important election.
Many, although not all, registrants in the State of California are eligible to vote. For example, you are eligible to vote if you are currently in jail provided that you are serving a misdemeanor sentence or are awaiting trial. You are also eligible to vote if you are on federal supervised release, mandatory supervision or probation. Finally, you are eligible to vote if you have completed your parole term.
You are not eligible to vote, however, if you are currently serving a prison sentence in either state or federal prison. You are also not eligible to vote if you are either currently on parole or in jail due to a parole violation. Finally, you are not eligible to vote if you are currently in a county jail awaiting transfer to a state or federal prison after being convicted of a felony.
It is important to know your voting rights because it is possible, and perhaps probable, that a law enforcement official or probation officer may tell you that you are not eligible to vote. That is, in fact, what happened very recently when a probation officer told a registrant he supervised that he could not vote in the upcoming mid-term election on November 6. The registrant knew better and provided his probation officer with printed information from the website of the Office of the Secretary of State, a copy of which is linked to the article. After reading the information, the probation officer admitted that he was wrong. We can only hope that he shared that information with his colleagues.
In addition to being eligible to vote, you must also register to vote. Fortunately, there are currently many ways to register to vote including going to your county elections office or applying online at www.RegisterToVote.ca.gov. The deadline for registering to vote for the mid-term election is October 22.
Voting for registrants can also pose a challenge if their polling place is located at a school. That is because a state law requires registrants to obtain prior written permission to enter a school campus even for voting purposes. In order to avoid that challenge, you can request a vote-by-mail ballot that will be sent to your home.
In the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”
Let your voice be heard! Vote on November 6.
Click here to see the official California document: