California Secretary of State Alex Padilla is assisting residents with criminal convictions by launching a new tool to let them know whether they are eligible to vote.

The Restore Your Vote tool, available online at, emphasizes that Californians convicted of a felony can register and vote as long as they are not currently in prison or on parole.

“I want all Californians to know their voting rights,” Padilla said in a statement. “Even if you have a prior criminal conviction, you may still have the right to vote. Civic engagement can be a critical piece in reintegrating formerly incarcerated Californians into their communities and reducing recidivism.”

At the website, people are asked to answer whether they are a U.S. citizen and resident of California, whether they are 18 or older on Election Day, whether they are currently in prison or on parole for a felony, and whether they have been found mentally incompetent to vote by a court.

Based on the answers, users are told whether they can register to vote. Those who are eligible will be provided a link to online voter registration, and this coming Monday is the deadline for people in California to register to vote for the Nov. 6 election.

Story originally published by Bay City News.

Dan McMenamin is the managing editor at Bay City News, directing daily news coverage of the 12-county greater Bay Area. He has worked for BCN since 2008 and has been managing editor since 2014 after previously serving as BCN’s San Francisco bureau reporter. A UC Davis graduate, he came to BCN after working for a newspaper and nonprofit in the Davis area. He handles staffing, including coaching of our interns, day-to-day coverage decisions and management of the newswire.