An Alameda County Superior Court judge today ruled that Secretary of State Debra Bowen illegally stripped tens of thousands of people of their voting rights two years ago. His ruling said people on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) and mandatory supervision under California’s Criminal Justice Realignment Act are eligible to vote.
“Today’s ruling is a victory for California’s democracy,” said Michael Risher, staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California. “By following the plain language of our state’s voting laws, the court’s ruling will help ensure that in California, one of the nation’s most fundamental rights – the right to vote – will be protected and not restricted.”
In his ruling, Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo said the fact that the California legislature passed the Realignment Act with the legislative goal of better facilitating the reintegration of people with felony convictions back into society suggests legislators would have wanted people on PRCS and mandatory supervision to retain their right to vote, writing that “the plain language of the statute suggests that the integration of adult felons into society would be facilitated by allowing” these individuals to vote.