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California propositions would allow felons on parole and some 17-year-olds to vote

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When it come to voting in California, convicted felons on parole are not allowed to to cast ballots under current state law.

But, if voters approve Proposition 17 on the November ballot, felons on parole will be allowed to vote.

Shay Franco Clausen, campaign manager for "Yes on 17"and others who support the measure, say it's one way to encourage parolees to fully re-enter society.

"If we are advocating for a fair and transparent democracy that includes the voices of everyone in the community, we can't include the results if we can't include a pocket of people here in California," said Franco Clausen.

Proposition 17 is a constitutional amendment placed on the ballot by a vote of the California Legislature.

If approved, the measure would add the state to 19 others where felons on parole are allowed to vote, according to Ballotpedia.

Opponents argue parole periods are part of the sentences received by violent criminals that should also be served before voting privileges are restored.

They also point to politics.

"The majority of felons how register to vote register democrat and i'm talking 61 percent at least. In close races that could make a difference in congressional seats. We've seen that before in California," said Mike Rushford, President of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.

Proposition 18 would allow 17-year-olds to vote in California's primary elections and special elections if they turn 18 by the time a general election occurs.

Prop 18 is also a constitutional amendment, also placed on the ballot by the state legislature and authored by Bay Area Democrat Kevin Mullen.

If passed by voters, the state would join 18 states and the District of Columbia where 17-year-olds are allowed to vote in primaries.

"If they are willing to be in the service and die for the country they should be allowed to vote," said Indio resident Steve Chang.

"I didn't get to vote until I was 21, it didn't hurt me all of those years. I don't see why they are pushing to get them younger and younger," said desert visitor Jim Duffus.

Ballotpedia.org LINKS:

Proposition 17

Proposition 18

California / News Headlines / Top Stories / Your Vote

Tom Tucker

Tom Tucker is a veteran broadcast journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. Learn more about Tom here.

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