Many Californians mistakenly believe a criminal conviction keeps them from voting. Politicians bet on that fact to win elections.
[Leer en español aquí.] The ACLU of California Voting Rights Project works to protect and expand Americans’ freedom to vote. We advance the democratic process by reducing barriers to registration, enforcing the Voting Rights Act, and building an educated, participatory grassroots.

We’ve been fighting the rollback of voting rights in the courts, Congress, and state and local legislatures for decades.

We recently won a lawsuit that restored the right to vote for more than 60,000 formerly incarcerated people. This means there are only a very few instances when a person with a criminal conviction in California cannot vote.

Your voting rights are automatically restored once you complete your sentence. You just have to fill out a voter registration card.

Please contact us if you feel someone is trying to stop you from registering to vote or from voting.


BASIC VOTING RIGHTS for those who have a criminal conviction:
  • If you have a misdemeanor conviction, you can ALWAYS vote.
  • If you have a felony conviction, you CAN vote if:
  • You are on probation OR
  • You are on post-release community supervision OR
  • You are on mandatory supervision OR
  • You are serving a county jail sentence under Realignment OR
  • You have completed parole.

Put another way: the only time you CANNOT vote when you have a felony conviction is if:

    • You are currently serving a state or federal prison sentence OR
    • You are currently on parole.

ACLU: Fighting to restore voting rights