Getting out the vote at the Prince George’s County jail

Absentee voter ballots have been delivered to the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections in Maryland, and those locked up who are eligible but not registered to vote will get their chance to register starting Thursday.

A get-out-the-vote effort has been launched among special populations in Prince George’s County, which includes those being held at the county jail.

“This initiative is about ensuring that everyone who has the right to vote has the ability to vote, and so we’re reaching out to all segments of our community, including those who are ‘behind the wall,’ those who are incarcerated, pre-trial, or serving time for misdemeanor offenses and are eligible to vote,” said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy.

After examining a list of inmates being held by the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections, the county Board of Elections has provided absentee ballots and voter registration forms for those who are eligible.

“All of that has been delivered now to the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections, there’s a voter registration drive that’s going to be kicked off [Thursday] at the jail,” Braveboy said.

Many of the up to 600 inmates in the custody of Department of Corrections are in pre-trial detention.

“They are presumed innocent. And, so they are people who are residents; they’re citizens of our state and of our country, and they have a right to have their voice heard in the upcoming election,” Braveboy said.

Other special populations being targeted for the get-out-the-vote drive are seniors and members of the LGBTQ and immigrant communities.

Voter outreach is being conducted at county senior centers.

The State’s Attorney’s Multicultural Commission is targeting eligible voters in the county’s immigrant community for either absentee ballots or voter registration forms, and the office is working with the nonprofit group “LGBTQ Dignity Project” to reach eligible voters.

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