PETITIONERS SEEK TO ENFORCE VOTING RIGHTS OF PEOPLE IN JAIL
In a petition filed October 3, 2016 with the Los Angeles Superior Court, the Los Angeles Chapter of All of Us or None is seeking to compel LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell and County Registrar Dean Logan to allow eligible voters in county jail to register to vote without having to submit an “inmate request form.” Inmate request forms often take months to process, so the requirement effectively disenfranchises many otherwise-eligible voters. There is no legitimate justification for the requirement, and election forms should be freely available to all eligible voters.
(Link to the PETITION)
Most people in county jail retain the right to vote. In practice, however, very few of them register to vote mainly because of the widespread misconception that one cannot vote while in jail. According to All of Us or None Community Organizer Amber Rose Howard, “Sheriff McDonnell and Respondent Logan have taken very little initiative to correct this misperception, despite repeated advocacy by concerned groups. The inmate request form only adds to the misconception. When election material is not immediately available upon request, it reinforces the idea that people in jail cannot vote.”
(Link to the OPPOSITION)
The request process compromises the voting rights of thousands of eligible voters who are at risk of being disenfranchised in the upcoming November election. During a pivotal election year, engaging every eligible voter in a timely manner, wherever they are, is imperative for the opportunity for all to participate in the electoral process.
About All of Us or None:
In collaboration with other formerly incarcerated & convicted individuals, All of Us or None (AOUON) was co-founded in 2003 by CNN Hero, Susan Burton. AOUON was created because the people most directly impacted by the criminal justice system had no organized or collective voice in the policies that affect them. AOUON’S primary goal is to build a movement led by formerly incarcerated/convicted individuals to win full restoration of the human and civil rights of justice-involved individuals.
AOUON’s values are grounded in its “Self-Determination Pledge”:
- We demand the right to speak in our own voices;
- We treat each other with respect and will not allow differences to divide us;
- We accept responsibility for any acts that may have caused harm to our families, our communities or ourselves;
- We fight all forms of discrimination;
- We help build the economic stability of formerly-incarcerated people;
- We claim and take care of our own children and our families;
- We support community struggles to stop using prisons as the answer to social problems; and
- We play an active role in making our communities safe for everyone.