The Free the Vote Act (ACA 6 & AB 646)
The Free the Vote Act: ACA 6 & AB 646 – PASSED!
ACA 6, the “Free the Vote Act,” will restore voting rights to every person on parole in California. This required us to pass an Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA 6) and an Assembly Bill (AB 646) to put voting rights on the November 2020 ballot. Nearly 50,000 people on parole in California are working, paying taxes, and positively contributing to their communities, yet they are unable to vote at any level of government. This system operates as “taxation without representation,” which is antithetical to the founding of this country.
AB 646 is the trailer bill for ACA 6. When Prop 17 is passed in November by CA voters, AB 646 will be used to change the existing law, thereby allowing a person on parole to legally preregister, register, and vote. This bill still had to go through the legislative process like any other bill, even though ACA 6 was passed by the legislature prior to it being heard. On August 4, 2020, AB 646 was heard by the Senate Elections Committee and passed by a 4-1 vote.