Ensuring that Eligible Voters in Florida Jails Have Access to the Ballot
All Voting is Local Florida and the ACLU of Florida teamed up to assess how difficult it is for eligible voters in Florida jails to cast a ballot. We wanted to know: Did county jails have policies and procedures to facilitate the voting and registration of eligible voters in jails, and did they cooperate with volunteers who sought to provide those services?
We found that most counties have no written policies to facilitate elections in jail. Even for those that do have policies, important steps or details are missing.
The right to vote does not end at the door of a holding cell. State laws require eligible voters in jail to be able to cast a ballot. People who are in jail are often awaiting trial, conviction, or are being held for misdemeanor crimes. In Florida, as in most states, these individuals are eligible to register and vote, and no eligible voter should be denied their right. Yet there is a sharp difference between being simply eligible to vote or register and being able to make one’s voice heard.