Expanding Voter Access in Jails

By The Sentencing Project

The vast majority of the 700,000 people incarcerated in jails are eligible to vote because they are either awaiting trial or are serving a sentence for a misdemeanor conviction, but not a felony. Yet few jurisdictions have established a process whereby people in jails can vote.

new report by The Sentencing Project highlights jurisdictions that have adopted policies and practices in recent years to increase voting access for people in jails.

The report features jurisdictions that have authorized local jails as official polling locations, community initiatives that have increased civic education programs in jails, and voter registration campaigns for incarcerated residents.”

“Now more than ever we need to ensure that all eligible voters — including those incarcerated in jails — have access to the ballot and are able to vote safely,” said Nicole D. Porter, Director of Advocacy at The Sentencing Project, and author of the report. “Communities are better served when incarcerated people have a voice in our democracy.”



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