It’s a little more challenging for people held in the two Guilford County jails to vote, however, for many of them it’s still legal to do so.
Some inmates do go to the trouble of casting votes just like the county residents who are free to move around as they please.
Currently, convicted felons in the state of North Carolina not being held in jail or prison are eligible to vote – however, convicted felons who are in jail or prison are not.
Many people currently being held in the Guilford County jail system have yet to be tried, and, therefore, they can still vote; while others are being held on misdemeanor charges – which doesn’t exclude them from voting in North Carolina.
“They can’t get out and vote,” Guilford County Board of Elections Director Charlie Collicutt, said of county inmates, “but it’s possible to vote from jail.”
Essentially, he said, they use the same absentee-ballot by-mail voting process used by those who can’t vote in person because they are in “Afghanistan or Aspen.”
Collicutt said that the Guilford County Board of Elections Department doesn’t have workers who go into the jails and register voters or collect ballots. But some inmates do vote by mail.
The elections director said inmates can use the address of the county jails in Greensboro or High Point as their “home” address.
He added that, while there are inmates eligible to vote from jail, it’s not a highly popular activity.
“In a big election, there may be 10 or 20,” Collicutt said of people casting votes that are known to be from behind bars.
A court case with major ramifications as to whether convicted felons in North Carolina should be allowed to vote at all is expected to be heard by the North Carolina Supreme Court next year.