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Sheriff, NAACP register dozens of DeKalb jail inmates to vote

The NAACP partnered with the sheriff's office for the voter registration drive.
The NAACP partnered with the sheriff's office for the voter registration drive.

Credit: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

Credit: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office partnered with the local branch of the NAACP to host a voter registration drive at the county jail Wednesday.

According to a statement from the sheriff’s office, 38 inmates filed applications to become registered voters. The NAACP’s voter outreach program with incarcerated individuals has become an annual initiative.

“It is important that every citizen who has the right to vote also has a chance to exercise that right,” DeKalb Sheriff Melody Maddox said in a statement. “Many incarcerated individuals don’t realize that they can still cast absentee ballots in elections while they are in custody, but they must first be registered voters.”

Georgia law states that convicted felons who have not fully completed their sentence (including probation, parole, fines and fees) are not eligible to vote. That means that men and women who have been arrested and are in the county jail can cast ballots.

DeKalb NAACP representatives met with the inmates to explain the registration process and help them complete the application. They plan to return the applications to the county elections office for processing.

Correction: A previous version of this story said that only convicted felons who are still serving a prison sentence are not eligible to vote. The story has been updated to reflect that convicted felons who remain on probation or parole or owe fines are also not eligible to vote.

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