Saturday, November 26, 2022


An investigative probe into how rules written for distressed rust belt property may benefit a select few; Small Business Saturday highlights local Economies; FL nonprofit helps offset the high cost of insulin.


A Supreme Court case could have broad implications for the future of U.S. elections, results show voters rejected election deniers in many statewide races, and the concession phone call may be a thing of the past.


A water war in Southwest Utah has ranchers and Native tribes concerned, federal solar subsidies could help communities transition to renewable energy, and Starbucks workers attempt to unionize.

Report: 'Unlock the Vote' at U.S. Jails Shows Progress, Obstacles


Tuesday, August 23, 2022   

Every election, thousands of people are disenfranchised from voting because they are incarcerated. But Houston's Harris County Jail has shown the two are not mutually exclusive.

In 2021 a polling place was available at the jail for the first time.

Maj. Phillip Bosquez, of the Justice Housing Bureau for the Harris County Sheriff's Office, said many of those incarcerated are pretrial detainees and not serving a sentence for a felony conviction, making them eligible to vote. He assumed implementation would be daunting, but acknowledged he was proved wrong.

"Logistically in a system this size, the third largest in the country, it wasn't as hard as we thought," Bosquez recounted. "We got it accomplished, and we've had four elections, and we're set up for the big election coming in November."

Researchers with the Sentencing Project have found the vast majority of those incarcerated are eligible to vote but face significant barriers.

In the past 25 years, half the states have expanded voting access to people with felony convictions. Opponents argued felons should not be allowed to vote while incarcerated because they say voting is a privilege, not an absolute right of citizenship.

Durrel Douglas, founder of the Houston Justice Coalition and jail-based Voting Initiative organizer for The Sentencing Project, was instrumental in bringing voting to the city's jail. He said just 13 of the 26 people eligible cast an in-person ballot for this year's primary, and while it is a small number, he believes it is a right to be protected, and noted minority communities are primarily affected.

"When we think of who's typically behind bars, it's disproportionately Black people and brown people," Douglas pointed out. "Expanding this access to those who otherwise wouldn't have access to the ballot is huge when it comes to expanding access to democracy."

Douglas believes jails could and even should serve as voting locations in all states.

"There are high concentrations of people that are in jails every day," Douglas emphasized. "Some 549,000 people on any given day that don't have access to the ballot, just because they're in jail."

In addition to Houston, jails in Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., also have introduced polling places for those incarcerated on Election Day.

get more stories like this via email
During open enrollment for 2022 coverage, Georgia saw a record number of individuals, more than 700,000, sign up for health insurance. ( Stock)

Health and Wellness

Open enrollment for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act is already underway, and ends on Jan. 15. More than 1.3 million Georgians do …

Social Issues

Holiday shoppers this week have no shortage of options with Small Business Saturday being observed on Nov. 26. Sandwiched between Black Friday and …

Health and Wellness

The American Heart Association has developed a series of videos to educate women about heart disease. The Red Chair Series is a four-episode series …

Chris Powers stands in front of the Land Bank lot that he tried to bid on in Southern Ohio. (Eye on Ohio)

Social Issues

By Lucia Walinchus for Eye on Ohio.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan for Ohio News Connection Collaboration reporting for the Ohio Center for Invest…

Social Issues

While many Iowa families gather through this weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving in traditional ways with food and family, thousands of people take to …

The EPA claims that the EES Coke Battery plant has emitted thousands of tons of sulfur dioxide annually beyond its permitted limit of 2,100 tons. (Wikipedia)


Members of a Detroit-area community are intervening in an Environmental Protection Agency lawsuit against a DTE Energy subsidiary charged with dumping…

Health and Wellness

A bill headed to President Joe Biden's desk addresses a long-standing problem for domestic violence survivors, ending their ties to their abusers' …


Oregon is home to a plethora of rivers, but those waterways are not always accessible to every community. A new video series highlights how …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021