Proposition 17, which restores the right to vote for felons on probation, was passed by California voters on Tuesday. Up until this year’s elections, those who were on probation were not able to vote until the end of their probationary period.
Those in favor of Proposition 17 say that it is a way to reintegrate ex-felons into society. However, those against it argue that it would allow violent criminals to participate in a government whose rules they have ignored. Prior to this year’s elections, the right to vote was straight up denied to California felons until they had completed their prison sentences and also their parole.
According to the Associated Press, research has found that felons are “less likely to re-engage in criminal activity if they feel that they are valued members of their community and that their voices matter and concerns are addressed,” said Yes On 17, an advocacy group who supports the reintegration process.
Twenty states already allow the vote of those people who have not yet finished their sentence, and currently in California, there are about 50,000 felons who have already served their sentence but were still not eligible to vote.