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California allows former felons to vote, but the state prohibits voting by people incarcerated in prison or on parole. Register to vote if you are not already and eligible.
“A person entitled to register to vote shall be a United States citizen, a resident of California, not in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony, and at least 18 years of age.” (Cal. Const. Art. II, Sec. 4; Cal. Elec. Code Sec. 2101)
This means that California residents who have a felony conviction can vote after completion of parole, while on probation, or if they are committed to county jail with a felony conviction (see below).
However, in December 2011, Secretary Bowen issued a memorandum (#11134) to all county clerks and registrars stating that none of the individuals sentenced under Realignment (probably excludes SO) are eligible to vote. But according to the McPherson ruling, the California Constitution deprives individuals of the right to vote on the basis of criminal convictions only if they are “imprisoned in state prison” or “on parole as a result of the conviction of a felony.” A lawsuit was filed in the First District Court of Appeals in March 2012 to decide the issue to clarify the voting rights of more than 85,000 Californians in time to allow them to register before the Oct. 22 deadline.