July 31, 2006

Parolees Still Banned From Voting

The Colorado Supreme Court determined that the parolees had not completed their sentence, and therefore are ineligible to resume voting privileges:
Some six-thousand parolees will be kept out of polling places in Colorado this year, following a Colorado Supreme Court ruling upholding a state law Monday barring parolees from voting.

The American Civil Liberties Union's Colorado chapter challenged the law on behalf of two nonprofit groups and Michael Danielson of Fort Collins. Danielson was paroled in 2003 following a conviction on drug and theft charges.

Attorneys for Danielson, the Colorado Criminal Justice Coalition and Colorado-CURE argued the state law violates state Constitution. They say prisoners' voting rights should be restored when they are released from prison -- even if they are still on parole.

But in an unanimous opinion, the justices said convicted felons have not served their full sentence until all components, including parole, are completed.


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