California voters showed up for a ballot measure restoring the right to vote for felons on parole Tuesday.
Put simply, Proposition 17 will change the state Constitution to give the vote to an estimated 50,000 people who supporters said have paid their debt to society and should be able to choose their representatives and shape the policies that affect their daily lives.
The Proposition won support from prominent California Democrats, including vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris and Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, who wrote the initiative. According to projections by the New York Times, the measure passed with 59 percent of the vote.
“Prop. 17 gives Californians the chance to right a wrong and restore voting rights for a marginalized community and people of color,” McCarty said. “This is good for democracy and good for public safety.”
Jose Grano Gonzalez, a Los Angeles resident whose right to vote is now restored with the approval of Prop. 17, thanked his fellow Californians “who used their voice, and voted to ensure that mine can be heard, too.”
“Our country boasts that its citizens have a direct, distinct voice in the conversation about its future,” he said in a statement. “And now thanks to millions of California voters, today we are that much closer to achieving that reality.”
This sentiment is definitely shared by ex felons across the state. Many of who never thought they would have a chance to use their voices politically.