This is to inform you of the requirements of a new law. Senate Bill (SB) 589 became effective as a new law on January 1, 2016.
This new law indicates that an individual under a conservatorship who has lost his or her right to vote can have their right to vote restored. Courts are implementing the new law by restoring voting rights at the time of the biennial reviews. However, a client who is conserved may want to vote in the election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. If a conserved client wants to vote in the November election, they need to notify the probate court and register to vote before October 24, 2016.
Section 2209 (b) of the Elections Code now says, “…Unless the person is found incapable of communicating that desire, the person’s right to register to vote shall be restored, and the court shall also notify the county elections official.”
A conserved regional center client who wants to vote in the November election must inform the probate court, or an agent of the probate court, that he or she wants to vote. The probate court then notifies the County Registrar of Voters to reinstate the individual’s voting right. Once the county Registrar of Voters is notified, and the client’s voting rights are restored, the client should contact the Registrar of Voters to complete their voter registration.
A client under conservatorship can simply write to the presiding judge of the probate court, or to a court investigator, and indicate, “I want to vote.” The letter should include the probate court’s conservatorship case number. Once the statement is received by the court, and the court verifies that the letter is from the conserved client, the court should enter an order to restore the individual’s voting rights and provide notification to the County Registrar of Voters.
On the back of this letter are the addresses and telephone numbers for the County Superior Courts – Probate Division for the nine counties served by Far Northern Regional Center, including Shasta, Siskiyou, Modoc, Lassen, Tehama, Trinity, Glenn, Butte, and Plumas. Additional information is available by calling Disability Rights California, Voting Rights Hotline (888) 569-7955.
Director of Client Services