In 2011, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed the Criminal Justice Realignment Act (CJRA). Under Penal Code section 1170(h), low-level felons are sentenced to county jail and/or supervision by the county probation department instead of state prison. CJRA has caused some confusion about voting rights among people who have criminal convictions. Below states who is eligible and who is not eligible to register to vote in California.
You are eligible if you are:
- In county jail serving a misdemeanor or felony sentence
- In county jail because jail time is a condition of probation
- In county jail awaiting trial
- On probation
- On mandatory supervision
- On post-release community supervision
- On federal supervised release
- A person with a juvenile wardship adjudication
You are not eligible if you are:
- In a state or federal prison
- In a county jail or other correctional facility serving a state prison felony sentence
- In a county jail for a parole violation
- On parole
California Penal Code section 2910 allows the California Department of Corrections & 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. If you have questions about your voting rights, please contact your parole or county probation office.