Early voting is underway in Georgia. Not all voters are showing up to vote at the polls, some are behind bars.
In Georgia, some people may be eligible to vote if they are not serving a sentence for a felony conviction. Folks that are in jail because they are awaiting trial or serving a sentence for a misdemeanor conviction may also be eligible.
Sheriff Donna Tompkins says during the last primary 3 inmates voted in the Muscogee County Jail and this election there’s only one. Raijeim Douglas works with Southerners on the New Ground. She says she assists in making inmates aware of their rights and there’s more work to be done.
“They have to fill out paperwork when they sign over their stuff or when they’re enrolling into jail or being processed. Maybe within the process could be an absentee ballot that they already fill out,” Douglas said.
Sheriff Tompkins says inmates are only allowed to vote by absentee ballot. She says although many leave and enter within hours the Muscogee County Jail chaplain still assists with any requests.