Californians may consider next year whether to allow tens of thousands of parolees to vote.
The state Assembly on Thursday narrowly approved putting a state constitutional amendment on the November 2020 ballot. Parolees currently are barred from registering to vote in local, state or federal elections.
Advocates, including California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, say allowing parolees to vote would help 50,000 felons who have served their time adjust to being back in society. Supporters add that California is following other states in considering ending its ban.
It would not affect criminals still in custody. Several lawmakers objected to allowing voting by murderers and rapists, and the measure passed with no votes to spare.
The bill now goes to the state Senate for consideration.
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The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Eyewitness This: California voters in 2020 may consider allowing parolees to vote