In Chicago, early voting got underway Saturday for hundreds of prisoners at the Cook County Jail. They’re among 20,000 pretrial prisoners in Illinois given access to absentee ballots — and in some cases voting machines at jails.
Cook County prisoner: “I’m able to voice my opinion and let everyone know that we’re still human beings, and it still counts. We still have to deal with the same things everybody else has to deal with when it comes to society and living and our rights.”
A recent report by the Sentencing Project found 5.2 million U.S. citizens are forbidden from voting due to laws that disenfranchise people with felony convictions. One out of 16 African Americans of voting age is disenfranchised.