Posted by Jack
No, I did not make this up…. these are real propositions.
Prop 17 – Allowing Parolees to Vote
There is a big difference between probation and parole in criminal justice and, at least in California, when it comes to having the right to vote. Probation is part of the sentence handed down and often allows those convicted of a felony to avoid time behind bars; parole begins upon release from prison, in advance of when the sentence ends.
But the California Constitution allows someone on probation to vote while removing the voting rights of a parolee until the time of parole has been completed. This proposal, placed on the ballot by the Legislature, would remove that restriction and allow a person on parole to vote.
Rules barring parolees from voting vary by state, though the trend has been toward restoring those rights. A survey conducted by a pro-voting rights group last year estimated that the ban on parolees voting in elections affects about 40,000 Californians.
Prop 16 – A Return to Affirmation Action! (Completely un-Constitutional)
It’s been 24 years since California voters considered whether race, ethnicity and gender should be considered in awarding government contracts and admission to the state’s colleges and universities. The politics and demographics of the state were far different in 1996, when such considerations were outlawed with Proposition 209, an amendment to the California Constitution.
This ballot measure is only nine words long. It would simply repeal Proposition 209, allowing the practice often described as affirmative action to again be used in state. It was added to the ballot by the Legislature last month, setting up a discussion about systemic racism and inequities at the same time as a national reckoning on these topics.
Prop 18. Gives 17-Year-Olds the Vote
This constitutional amendment, placed on the ballot by the Legislature, would allow 17-year-olds to register and vote in primary elections if they turn 18 by the time of the general election in November.
At least 18 states have similar laws on the books, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Supporters of the proposal argue that more of these new voters will get engaged with issues if they can participate in a full election cycle. As it stands now, an 18-year-old Californian whose birthday was after the March 3 presidential primary missed out on the chance to pick some candidates and now gets to vote only for one of the smaller group of hopefuls who made it to the Nov. 3 ballot.