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Why Support Prop 17?

Voting is a democratic right.

Disenfranchisement doesn’t match our values and leads to taxation without representation. Prop 17 will restore voting rights to Californians who haven't just paid their debt to society—they're actively improving it by paying taxes, working jobs and raising families.

Inclusivity makes democracy stronger.

Felony disenfranchisement silences 50,000 people in California who have completed their sentences. When they have a say in their future and the future of their children, our participatory democracy becomes stronger.

Prop 17 addresses systemic racism.

In California, 75% of those imprisoned are people of color. Californians must meet this moment by undoing a harmful policy that disproportionately pushes people of color into imprisonment and keeps them on the margins of society by denying them the right to vote.

Prop 17 addresses discrimination against the poor.

The criminal justice system disproportionately impacts poor communities. Boys born into households in the bottom 10% of earners are 20 times more likely to be in prison on a given day in their early 30s than children born into the top 10%. Similarly, formerly incarcerated individuals earn less than those who have never been incarcerated. Depriving them of the right to vote perpetuates the cycle of poverty by denying them the democratic mechanisms to push for change.

Voting increases public safety.

Voting gives individuals a stake in their communities and a reason to become civically engaged. In 20 states where people on parole can vote, the recidivism rate is lower than that in California. In that sense, voting becomes its own social safety net, generating a self-strengthening cycle that creates stronger communities and increases public safety.

"We want to be contributors. We want to affect change. We want our voices to matter."

—Joseph

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Free the Vote 2020

Working to restore voting rights to 50,000 Californians on parole. Because democracy means everyone.

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© 2020 Free the Vote 2020. Paid for by Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.