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Judge Rules Against Debra Bowen in Prisoner Voting Rights Lawsuit

 
Judge Rules Against Debra Bowen in Prisoner Voting Rights Lawsuit
Posted May 8th, 2014 @ 7:37am by KFBK News

An Alameda County Superior Court judge has ruled that Secretary of State Debra Bowen erred by deciding that tens of thousands of criminals who are serving their sentences under community supervision are ineligible to vote.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups sued on behalf of nearly 60,000 convicts who previously would have been ineligible to vote because they were on state parole. 

Bowen was sued over a decision she made in 2011 that said criminals who are serving their sentences under community supervision are ineligible to vote.

The ACLU, League of Woman Voters, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and other groups filed the lawsuit in February.

This was the second voting-related lawsuit challenging Bowen's interpretation of the 2011 realignment law, which is designed to reduce state prison overcrowding.

The first included those serving time in county jails but stalled in the courts.

The lawsuit argues that state law prohibits voting only by those in state prison or on parole. 

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