Voting Rights: Persons with a Criminal History

Persons with a criminal history who CAN register to vote:

In county jail: 

  • Because jail time is a condition of probation (misdemeanor or felony)
  • Serving a felony jail sentence
  • Awaiting trial

Or 

  • On probation
  • On mandatory supervision
  • On post-release community supervision
  • On federal supervised release
  • A person with a juvenile wardship adjudication

Persons with a criminal history who CANNOT register and vote:

Currently imprisoned in: 

  • State prison 
  • Federal prison 

Or 

  • Currently serving a state prison felony sentence in a county jail or other correctional facility*
  • Currently in county jail awaiting transfer to a state or federal prison for a felony conviction
  • Currently in county jail for a parole violation
  • Currently on parole with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Once you are done with parole your right to vote is restored, but you must re-register online at RegisterToVote.ca.gov or by filling out a paper voter registration card

*California Penal Code section 2910 allows the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to make agreements with local governments to house felons in a county jail or other correctional facility. A person serving a state prison sentence who is housed in a local jail or other facility under these circumstances is not allowed to register and vote. For more information, please visit CDCR’s website http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/realignment/index.html.

For more information visit the Secretary of State's Voting Rights: Persons with a Criminal History

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Voting Rights: Print Versions

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