Protesters across the country are demanding an end to police brutality and systemic racism in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by the police. Many of them will also be heading to the polls to seek these changes through voting. But in many states, those who have been most impacted by widespread racial bias in our justice system will not be allowed to join them because of unjust and discriminatory criminal disenfranchisement laws.
But now there’s an opportunity for improvement in California, where a bipartisan state senate vote Wednesday placed a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November that would restore the right to vote to people on parole. It’s called ACA 6, and voters approving it would build on the momentum around the country for giving voting rights back to Americans convicted of crimes. Just last week in Iowa — the last state that still permanently bars everyone with convictions from voting — the governor pledged to undo this undemocratic policy.