Voting in California Jails, A Community Toolkit

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Just released: Voting in California Jails, A Community Toolkit. Written in partnership with the ACLU of California, this toolkit will help you create or expand voter registration and turnout programs in jails.

There are roughly 82,000 people in California’s jails, and most of these adult citizens have the right to vote. However, people incarcerated in county jails still experience a unique set of obstacles when they reach for the ballot box. As a result, many eligible adult citizens are locked out of the democratic process purely because they are in jail. The good news is that our brand new toolkit has several strategies for community advocates, county elections offices, and sheriffs to break down barriers to democracy for people in county jails. You can read the toolkit here.

Although COVID-19 has made voter outreach in jails more difficult, the work is no less important. To help you get the most out of the toolkit and create your own program, we are hosting a training webinar next Thursday, August 27th. This training will highlight key resources from the new toolkit, including different models for jail voter registration and turnout as well as best practices for doing voter engagement work in jails. Register for the webinar here.

This project is a collaboration between ACLU of Northern California, ACLU of Southern California, and the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund, as well as our partners at the Alameda Public Defender’s Office, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Pillars of the Community, and the Santa Cruz County Elections Office. Learn more at LetMeVoteCA.org.