National Center for Youth Law

STRATEGIES

All of Us or None v. Bowen

This case challenges the California Secretary of State’s recent interpretation of state laws regarding voting rights for those convicted of felonies. In 1974, the voters amended the California Constitution to narrow its felony disenfranchisement provisions. In December 2011, Secretary of State Debra Bowen issued a memorandum interpreting this provision in light of the new realignment of the criminal justice system. Post-realignment, people sentenced to county jail or to supervision for low-level felonies will be barred from voting. Plaintiffs, represented in part by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, filed suit.