ACLU of Nebraska mails voting rights information to county jails

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A nonprofit organization is sending voting information to jails in Nebraska. 

This week, the ACLU of Nebraska is sending thousands of pamphlets to help break barriers to voting for incarcerated people. 

“Incarceration itself, it’s a barrier to having access to cast your vote,” said Mindy Rush Chipman, the ACLU’s legal director. “However, there is also misinformation, miscommunication about individuals’ rights to vote.” 

In Nebraska, if an inmate is in custody for a misdemeanor, their right to vote is never lost. 

“The only time the right to vote is suspended or you face disenfranchise from your right to vote is if you’ve been convicted of a felony crime, and that disenfranchise period last for two years after the sentence is completed,” Rush Chipman said.  

Also, if a person is facing felony charges but hasn’t been convicted, they still can vote. 

The ACLU said this project helps correctional officials have a better understanding of voting rights inside jails. 

“The great thing about this project is that it benefits both the people who are incarcerated and the correctional officials,” spokesman Sam Petto said. “In past years, we heard from correctional administrators telling us, ‘We didn’t know that people in custody could vote.’ ” 

The pamphlets arrived Wednesday at the Lancaster County Department of Corrections and will get to other jails this week and next.

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