All eligible voters should be able to have their voices heard. The ACLU of Washington is providing resources to help ensure that citizens with felony convictions understand their right to vote. Some people are unaware that under Washington law, a citizen’s right to vote is restored automatically when they are released from the criminal justice system. This means:
Individuals with felony convictions may register to vote as soon as they have been released from jail or prison and have completed any required Department of Corrections community custody.
Individuals with felony convictions may register to vote regardless of existing court-ordered legal financial obligations (known as LFOs), such as fees, fines, and restitution. Individuals no longer need a Certificate of Discharge to register to vote.
The ACLU of Washington offers these resources on voting rights:
Printable Voting Rights Restoration Guide: Provides basic information on how individuals with felony convictions regain their right to vote. Available online at www.aclu-wa.org/voting.
Online tool: “Criminal Conviction: Can I Vote?” takes individuals through the restoration process step by step, and points them to the relevant resources needed to register to vote.
In addition, the ACLU has been offering webinars on voting rights, designed for service providers and attorneys.
People with questions about voting rights for citizens with felony convictions should contact the ACLU of Washington at 206-624-2184 or visit www.aclu-wa.org/voting.