Minutes away from the White House, Washington, D.C. correctional facilities are making sure that incarcerated people have the opportunity to vote in the upcoming election. Washington, D.C. Department of Corrections Director Quincy Booth has reported that least 400 incarcerated people have registered to vote.
“You feel like a kid on Christmas Day and you unwrap the gift and now you're eager to know what's inside,” 44-year-old Joel Caston said.
44-year-old Joel Caston was sentenced to life in prison for murder as a teen in the 1990s. For nearly 30 years, he never believed that he would have the opportunity to vote.
“Being able to vote, for me and many of us, is a pathway to citizenship. Full citizenship,” Caston added.
In July, the nation's capital joined Vermont and Maine as the only regions where incarcerated people have the right to vote. Prior to July, incarcerated people only had the opportunity to vote until after they were released. Under this new legislature, incarcerated citizens will have the opportunity to vote by mail-in ballot. D.C. Department of Corrections will then be responsible for collecting all ballots.
“We are avid news watchers here. You know, we read the newspaper. We watch the local news daily,” Caston explained.
“Contrary to what many may think in society, the incarcerated population are heavily invested in what's going on in the political sphere.”
Of the 2,600 eligible voters currently incarcerated, 400 have registered to the cast their ballot in the upcoming election.
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