Los Angeles Times Endorses Prop 17
The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board today endorsed Proposition 17 and urged all Californians to vote in favor. A key passage from the editorial reads:
Parolees did not emerge from prison stripped of their citizenship. Parole is not simply prison on the outside. Although if it feels that way to parolees, it’s at least in part because we make it so hard for people to fully reintegrate into the community. Parole is the pathway into society, but voting is not a reward to be earned along that path. Voting is a right that should be restored to a parolee as soon as he or she leaves prison.
Another passage discusses the need for individuals with felony convictions to have a say in the laws they must abide by:
The argument that parolees can’t be trusted with deciding issues that affect the lives and finances of the general public is absurd. Voting in America doesn’t require passing a civics test — if it did, many citizens wouldn’t pass, sadly. Let’s not further disconnect parolees from society by holding them to some standard for voting that we don’t impose on any other voters. And why shouldn’t they be allowed to vote however they please on lawmakers whose policies and laws they are now abiding by?