New partnership helps Chatham County Jail inmates register to vote

New partnership helps Chatham County Jail inmates register to vote

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - As voting gets underway in Iowa for the caucus, elected leaders in Chatham County are working together to ensure everyone has a fair chance at casting a ballot.

Sheriff John Wilcher and Chatham County Board of Elections member Antwan Lang have formed a new partnership set to ensure inmates have the chance to vote.

You hear it every election cycle, every vote counts. But some local elected officials are working to make sure that is true, even for inmates at the Chatham County Jail.

“Just because you’re arrested doesn’t mean that you lost your right to vote,” explained Antwan Lang, Chatham County Board of Elections.

With hopes of providing more access to eligible voters Lang sat down with Sheriff John Wilcher to ensure inmates have a way to make their voices heard. The Chatham County Sheriff was already allowing the NAACP to come and register eligible inmates, but for him this partnership was a no-brainer.

“Three things I always tell people you have the right to freedom of speech, a right to bear arms and the right to vote,” said Sheriff John Wilcher, Chatham County. “Whether you vote for me or vote for whoever so I think it’s a win-win situation.”

Essentially, the sheriff is providing access to third parties to come into the jail and register inmates who want to vote and are eligible. Inmates will then be sent absentee ballots.

“So many minorities in the past have been stopped from voting,” said Antwan Lang. “I think that this is an opportunity that a lot of people don’t realize how important it is. I’m an elected democrat and Sheriff Wilcher’s an elected republican and we’re not allowing partisanship or any type of politics to play a part in this.”

Leaders say this partnership is critical as we head towards a busy election season.

The deadline to register to vote for the 2020 presidential preference primary is February 24th.

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