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October 4, 2020

"Eligible, but excluded: A guide to removing the barriers to jail voting"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new report released on Friday by the Prison Policy Initiative and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.  Here is its starting paragraph: 

Most people in jail are legally eligible to vote, but in practice, they can’t.  This “de facto disenfranchisement” stems from numerous factors, including widespread misinformation about eligibility, myriad barriers to voter registration, and challenges to casting a ballot.  Below, we explain who in jail is eligible to vote (state by state), discuss the barriers that keep them from voting, and offer recommendations for advocates, policymakers, election officials, and sheriffs to ensure that people in jail are able to vote.

This AP article discusses the report and provides additional context under the headline "Voting nearly impossible for eligible voters behind bars." Here is an excerpt from the AP piece:

Most of the three-quarters of a million people held in U.S. jails have the right to vote. But many of them are unable to, stymied by misinformation, limited access to registration and ballots and confusion from the officials in charge. The result is widespread voter disenfranchisement, say experts with the Prison Policy Initiative. The advocacy organization released a report detailing voting access for jail inmates with Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a civil rights advocacy group formed by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, on Friday....

[M]ost people in jail haven’t been convicted, but instead are awaiting trial on the charges for which they are being held. While those convicted of a felony lose their right to vote in most states for at least the time they are incarcerated, many of the people serving time in jail are serving time for misdemeanors, and most states allow people with misdemeanor convictions to vote. Very few get to actually exercise that right, the study found. Confusion, logistical barriers and timing issues abound.

October 4, 2020 at 04:25 PM | Permalink

Comments

Just like everyone should be able to carry a fire arm (which is literally what the 2nd A says), everyone should be able to vote. This is not a states' rights issue. Everyone gets a vote.Everyone gets a gun.

Posted by: restless94110 | Oct 4, 2020 10:12:42 PM

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