DC Jail Helps Inmates Vote, a Rarity Nationwide

By: Virginia AP Email
By: Virginia AP Email

WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's one polling place in Washington where all the voters are dressed alike. And when they finish casting their ballots, they head back to their cell block, not to work.

The city's board of elections and the D.C. Jail coordinated voting by absentee ballot for 88 men this year. That's just a small percentage of the hundreds of thousands of votes that will likely be cast in the city's elections Tuesday, but prisoner advocates say it is still important for inmates to have their say.

Most states don't actively help inmates vote, but there are exceptions. Jails in San Francisco register prisoners to vote and coordinate absentee ballots. In Maine and Vermont, prisoners never lose the ability to vote and get help casting ballots.


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