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As Nov. Nears, Attys Fight To Ensure Jailed Voters Get Ballots

Anne Cullen
Law360
"We're always available if they want to talk through how to adjust or amend some of those recommendations to fit the needs of their particular state."

Naila Awan, senior counsel at Demos, told Law360 they're ready to tap in if voters run into problems.

"We worked with the jails own service providers to cover the cost for individuals who are incarcerated in jails in Georgia to call us and ask any questions that they have about their eligibility or about navigating the process, and flag if they're having any problems getting access to a ballot," she said.

She added that they're looking to push out a fresh set of pamphlets ahead of the November election.

Awan said she's also working to fill the gaps left by the new pandemic-related visitation restrictions with a set of policy recommendations that Demos and its partners recently circulated to grassroots organizations around the country.

"There's now a lot of voters in jail who will not be receiving those same materials either through the state or through the local advocates, who they've been typically able to access those types of resources from," Awan said.

The recommendations lay out steps jails can take to ensure that incarcerated eligible voters have a chance to cast a ballot in November. Jails are advised to integrate voter registration into the intake process, maintain copies of absentee ballot applications on-site, and send completed ones out free of charge, among other suggestions.

While the blueprint is high-level, Awan said she's happy to tailor it down to the needs of any local organization that asks. "We're always available if they want to talk through how to adjust or amend some of those recommendations to fit the needs of their particular state," she said.

Read more at Law360