Reporting Claudia Peschiutta
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — With less than a week to go before Election Day, one particular group of voters is getting some help in making sure their voice is heard.
KNX 1070′s Claudia Peschiutta reports Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies and volunteers have registered hundreds of potential new voters in the county jail system.
Nearly 1,300 inmates signed up to cast their ballot over a two-week registration drive this month at the Men’s Central Jail, Twin Towers, and other local jails, according to Lt. Edward Ramirez with the Sheriff’s Community Transition Unit.
“We do an all-call and ask who’s registered to vote, and those that aren’t, we ask them if they’d be interested in voting,” said Ramirez, who found that “close to half” registered as Republican voters.
The process consists of Ramirez along with civilian volunteers asking inmates “a series of questions” to determine whether they are eligible to vote – which would include inmates who are currently on trial or awaiting trial.
Those who are serving time for a traffic or misdemeanor offense in a local jail as a condition of probation may also be eligible.
Anyone convicted of a felony in California may also be eligible to register and vote after they have served their sentence and are no longer on parole, according to a Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office inmate voting guide (PDF).
Ramirez said in addition to “doing an incredibly good deed,” volunteers also believed themselves to be doing a public service during the registration drive.
“It would be incredibly hypocritical to speak of rehabilitating inmates, and refuse to allow them to vote,” he said.