The vast majority of states allow those serving misdemeanor sentences in jails to vote. And the Supreme Court ruled back in 1974 that eligible voters being held in jails — those who have been arrested but not yet convicted — could not be denied their right to vote because they were incarcerated.
On any given day, the number of eligible voters locked up by cities and counties ranges from half a million to 700,000, numbers big enough to tip the outcome of close legislative or congressional contests — or even a presidential battleground state.
But in a year in which the coronavirus pandemic has made everything about elections more difficult, this particularly hard-to-reach segment of the electorate is even tougher to reach.
- Survey shows inmates aren't all Democratic voters in waiting ›
- Sanders says felons should be able to vote from behind bars - The ... ›
- Oops — Illinois canceled voter registrations of ex-inmates - The ... ›
- First Step Act beneficiaries left wondering: Can I vote? - The Fulcrum ›
Organizer: Campaign Legal Center
Join us virtually for a conversation between Campaign Legal Center President Trevor Potter and Katherine M. Gehl, author of "The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy." In the book, political innovation and business leader Katherine M. Gehl and world-renowned economist Michael E. Porter take a fresh, nonpartisan deep dive into American politics and prescribe a unique, targeted package of political innovation that revolves around changing the rules regarding elections and legislating.
Organizer: Campaign Legal Center
Disclosure requirements have long been considered central to the free and transparent functioning of our democracy, but our democracy is modernizing, and our disclosure laws are not keeping up.
From the 2014 election cycle to 2018, digital political spending increased by an astonishing 2,400%. Meanwhile, federal law governing transparency requirements for political ads hasn't been updated since 2002. Thanks to outdated statutes and FEC regulations, a political ad subject to legal transparency requirements when aired on TV can remain shrouded in secrecy when that same ad is run online.
Fortunately, there are several legislative solutions that can restore transparency to digital advertising. Join us to learn more about why digital ad regulation is important and what we can do to fix it.
The persistence of the pandemic is not a sufficient rationale for allowing everyone in Tennessee to vote by mail this fall, the state's top court has ruled, putting the state back on the otherwise shrinking roster of places with excuse requirements for getting an absentee ballot.
Wednesday's 4-1 decision by the state Supreme Court overturned a lower court's declaration two months ago that all eligible voters be permitted to use the mail this year in order to avoid Covid-19 exposure. It stands as the first time a state's top court has used an appeal to make absentee voting in November more restrictive.
As a result, there are now eight states where a reason beyond fear of the coronavirus will be needed to vote for president. Other than New York and Indiana, the rest are spread across the South; of those, all but emerging battleground Texas are reliably Republican red: Kentucky, South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana now joined again by Tennessee.
- The 6 toughest states for voting during the pandemic - The Fulcrum ›
- Tenn. judge rules everyone can vote absentee - The Fulcrum ›
- Lawsuits challenge vote-by-mail rules in Texas, Tenn. - The Fulcrum ›
- Tennessee must ease strict absentee limits on new voters - The Fulcrum ›
- Political organizations may send absentee ballot forms - The Fulcrum ›