Voting and Civic Engagement
Nation Outside seeks to change criminal justice policy in Michigan to reduce stigma, to create better conditions in correctional facilities, to end mass incarceration, and to expand opportunities for formerly incarcerated people in their communities.
Policy reform depends on the VOICES and VOTES of well-informed allies and directly-impacted citizens.
Many people are not aware that in the state of Michigan, individuals with felony convictions can vote as soon as they are released from a correctional facility, and that individuals waiting for trial can request an absentee ballot to be sent to the jail in which they are being held. We encourage all formerly incarcerated people and their families to make sure they are registered to vote and to use their voice in local, state, and federal elections.
Nation Outside and the Voting Access for All Coalition (VAAC) created a report, "Ensuring the Right to Vote: How to Expand Voting Access in Michigan Jails", examining the state of jail voting practices in Michigan, across all 83 counties. The report includes explanations of Michigan voting law, the problems present in seeking to cast a ballot from jail, and best practice recommendations for sheriffs, county clerks, legislators, and other stakeholders.