“Know Your Rights” Community forum teaches visitors their rights on voter registration in jail


Columbus, Georgia, (WRBL) Southerners on New Ground is making sure everyone has their voice heard in time for Election Day.

“I am so overwhelmed, I did not think that we would have this room full I think we were missing about two or three seats,” says Tonza Thomas, Community Organizer.

Partnering with Black Voters Matter and Vote Riders, the organizations are calling for action for convicted felons and detainees inside the Muscogee County jail.

“They have a right to vote even if they currently have a felony, as long as they served their time paid, all of their restitution and fees and completed probation and parole they have the right to vote,” says Thomas.

Some say the community forum was enlightening. They learned how to fill out a voter registration application and an absentee ballot.

“We learned how easy it is to make mistakes and your application could be tossed out, so you have to pay good attention to detail,” says Toyia Tucker, Visitor.

Thomas says having a thorough understanding of your voting rights is important in order to create change. She adds she’s been working closely with Muscogee County Sheriff Donna Tompkins to have absentee ballots in the Muscogee County jail.

“That’s amazing, and that’s something that has not happened in the past it’s something new and I’m thankful,” says Tucker.

“Absentee ballot is the best way to so we’re going to come up with a pamphlet to send around to the inmates in the jail,” says Thomas.

Thomas says she will be meeting with Sheriff Tompkins soon to come up with effective ways to distribute those absentee ballots.

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