Resolution in Support of Voting Rights Restoration

Resolution in Support
of Voting Rights Restoration

adopted January 15, 2020 by the KCBA Board of Trustees

WHEREAS, voting is a right guaranteed to all citizens, regardless of race, class, or gender, and is a cornerstone of American democracy;

WHEREAS, voting bans disproportionately affect people of color, especially African Americans, and continue to perpetuate harmful systems of racial discrimination and a legacy of black voter suppression;

WHEREAS, under current Washington law, anyone convicted of a felony is not allowed to vote until after they are released from incarceration and have completed any required term of Department of Corrections (DOC) community custody (probation);

WHEREAS, allowing formerly incarcerated citizens to participate in the political process makes them stakeholders in their government and facilitates their successful reentry into the community; 

WHEREAS, seventeen other states and the District of Columbia have adopted similar automatic restoration-upon-release laws; and

WHEREAS, a similar statutory change in Washington would restore voting rights to thousands of eligible voters in Washington State;

RESOLVED, the King County Bar Association supports legislation that would restore voting rights to all citizens immediately following their release from incarceration.