Midterms are right around the corner, and New York City Mayor Michael de Blasio is making it easier for inmates to cast their ballots from the jailhouse. According to de Blasio’s new voter registration drive, eligible inmates can register directly to vote–using their home address–though felons will still be regarded as ineligible. The “absentee” ballots will be sent over from the jail, streamlining the required document process by regular mail. The goal is to increase voter participation as part of the Democracy for NYC effort, which also seeks same-day voter registration. Once upon a time, being a felon meant losing certain civil privileges. Nowadays, it’s free room and board, education, relaxation and recreation and now the right to vote.
Here’s more from The Wall Street Journal…
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has laid out a new voter registration drive in the city’s correctional facilities.
Eligible inmates will be able to directly sign up to vote and have their absentee ballots picked up from jail. In the past, these forms and ballots were sent through regular mail, where security measures could cause delays.
Inmates would register to vote using their home address, the mayor said. Those who have prior felony convictions wouldn’t be eligible to vote.
The debate over restoring voting rights for people who have been convicted of a felony or who are on parole has been playing out across several states.