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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday threw its support behind a proposition that aims to restore voting rights to Californians on parole with a 4-1 vote. Supervisor Kathryn Barger cast the lone dissenting vote

Proposition 17 would give U.S. citizens living in California and currently on parole — an estimated 40,000 people — the right to vote.

If passed, the proposition would amend the 1974 measure that gave people convicted of felonies the right to vote after they completed their sentence and were no longer on parole.

Nineteen other states already have a similar law in place, though 10 other states permanently restrict the ability to vote to those convicted of certain felonies.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas championed the motion, saying that people who have served their time — many of whom were actively working and paying taxes — should be given the opportunity to cast a ballot and participate in civic life.

“For individuals rejoining our society after completing a prison sentence, exercising basic rights and responsibilities of citizenship is vital to successful reentry,” Ridley-Thomas said. “At the heart of American
citizenship is the right to vote. Congressman John Lewis often called it the most powerful non-violent tool that we have in a democratic society and one of the best forms of ‘good trouble.”‘

Ridley-Thomas also claimed that voter engagement could help reduce recidivism rates, though Barger said she felt giving those on parole the right to vote would undermine the justice system.

“”Let me make it clear,” she said. “They have not completed their sentence. Parole is an extension of the sentence pending them fulfilling what the courts have ordered them to do outside the prison system.”

“Voting certainly is a sacred right,” she continued. “Once the sentence is completed, they have paid their debt to society.”

In a statement issued after the vote, Public Defender Ricardo Garcia said those on parole could contribute to their communities through voting.

“Mass incarceration has devastated many communities, in particular communities of color,” he said. “Taking away the fundamental right to vote is one example of how mass incarceration is designed to perpetuate racial inequities. Restoring parolees voting rights will give them not only a chance at redemption but also add their valued voice back to our communities.”

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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Tags: election 2020 kcal 9 l a county board of supervisors los angeles los angeles county the right to vote

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US Elections 2020: How Astronauts Vote from Space

Issued by: Described Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: September 27, 2020 4:59:27 pm

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on the day of the US presidential election, will vote from space. (Photo: (via NASA / GCTC / Andre Shelfin AP)

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on the day of the US presidential election. Will cast his vote from space, Published by the Associated Press. The ISS is located beyond 200 miles and orbits the Earth at a speed of 17,000 miles per hour. In the ISS, missions lasted more than six months, and American astronauts were able to vote through a special non-voting system.

How is this possible?

In 1997, a bill passed by the Texas Legislature established a technical voting process for astronauts, all of whom reside in Texas and were given the ability to vote remotely from space. In the 2016 presidential election, astronauts Edward Michael Finke and Greg Samidoff defeated ISS. Lived and worked in, and voted by access to a secure secret ballot.

In 1997, NASA’s David Wolf became the first astronaut to use this rule while aboard the Russian space station Mir.

How does the system work?

The rule states that if a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) is applied for, a person traveling in a spaceship during the early voting period or on election day can vote by this method. The rule states that “the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will submit in writing to the Secretary of State a system for sending and receiving secret ballots to persons traveling in space during an election period.”

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According to a blog post published by NASA, when astronauts choose which elections (local / state / federal) they want to participate in space, the voting process begins a year earlier. Following this, six months before the election, the astronauts are given a standard form called “Voter Registration and Non-Voter Ball Request – Federal Postcard Application”.

One day before US Election Day, an encrypted electronic ballot is attached to the astronauts, who then use a set of unique credentials that will be emailed to them individually. This way, they can access their ballots and after voting, they attach themselves back down to earth to the county clerk’s office.

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