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Colorado Rights Blog

SB 179: Voting Rights For Those In Criminal Justice System

Criminal Justice
Bill Number: SB 179
Year: 2010
ACLU Position: Active Support
Sponsors: Sen. Steadman

Description:

Existing law prohibits a person serving a sentence of detention or confinement in a correctional facility, jail, or other location for a felony conviction or serving a sentence of parole from being eligible to register to vote or to vote in any election. Section 3 of the bill clarifies that a person on inmate status for a felony conviction is not eligible to register to vote or to vote in any election. Section 3 further permits any individual who is not on inmate status to register or vote in any election. Section 2 of the bill clarifies that inmate status does not include an individual who is no longer confined involuntarily in a municipal, county, or state prison, jail, detention facility, or other location while serving a sentence of parole. Section 2 also delineates various circumstances affecting offenders that do not constitute inmate status. Section 4 of the bill places duties upon county sheriffs, probation officers, parole officers, administrators of juvenile facilities, and administrators of community corrections programs to facilitate the registration for voting purposes of, and voting by, an individual not on inmate status who is in the custody of such official or assigned to the facility the official administers. Section 4 further specifies that such duties shall include advising the individual of his or her voting rights, providing the individual with information as to the manner in which the individual may register and cast a ballot, providing the individual with voter information materials, and, in applicable cases, ensuring that any mail or mail-in ballot cast by the individual is timely delivered to the designated election official. Section 4 also exempts county sheriffs or their designees from any restriction under law on the number of mail or mail-in ballots an eligible elector may deliver in person to the designated election official. Sections 5 through 9 of the bill make conforming amendments to the statutory provisions governing the powers and duties of county sheriffs, probation officers, parole officers, and administrators of community corrections programs and juvenile facilities. Sections 10 and 11 of the bill make conforming amendments that would allow confined prisoners awaiting trial to register and vote in municipal elections.

Read the bill here.


Current Status:

03/29/2010 Passes Senate Judiciary 4-2, Referred to Senate Appropriations
03/03/2010 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Judiciary



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