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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Herald-Sun outs inmate voters

Posted by on Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 2:40 PM

Out of 704 inmates at the Durham County Jail, just five are registered to vote, according to an article in today's Herald-Sun (registration required). That sounds like news to us. This doesn't: using the inmate database--which is public record--the H-S also published the names of the five registered voters, and the crimes they are charged with, which include murder, assault and drug charges. As the article mentions, inmates are eligible to vote until and unless they are convicted of a felony, and thus far the charges against these men are just that--charges. It is unclear whether the H-S made an attempt to speak with the registered voters--the article includes no mention of seeking their comment--and the point of the article is equally fuzzy. However, it does send a strong message to would-be voters: register to vote while in jail, and risk ending up in the paper.

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