Politics

Case Would Let Thousands Of California Criminals Vote

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The nonpartisan League of Women Voters and two prisoners’ rights groups are suing California elections officials, claiming that tens of thousands of criminals being shifted to county jails and community supervision should be eligible to vote.

The state’s new realignment law is sending lower-level offenders to county jails instead of to state prisons, where they are barred from voting. It’s also ending parole for many ex-convicts.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in a San Francisco appeals court says more than 85,000 offenders who are no longer in state prison or on parole should be allowed to vote in the June primary election.

A memo from Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s office says people who are sentenced to county jail or supervision under realignment are ineligible to vote under California law.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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