25 Prisoners Escorted To Election Office To Vote After Slipup

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Twenty five prisoners had to be escorted from the county jail under heavy guard on Thursday morning to vote at the election office just off Amnicola Highway after an election office "slipup".

Sheriff Jim Hammond said normally the election office sends a deputy to the jail and workhouse to vote those who are eligible to vote and who want to cast ballots.

He said his office is normally notified far in advance of the upcoming visit by the election office employee.

However, he said he was called Wednesday by election administrator Charlotte Mullis-Morgan when it was found that it was a day late for the jail vote.

"Somebody had dropped the ball at the election office," Sheriff Hammond said. "So we canvassed the prisoners on who was not a convicted felon and who wanted to vote. Then we gave the list to Charlotte to have them checked out to see if they were eligible. This is not the way we normally do it."

He said 25 turned out to be eligible and they were loaded in vans for the short trip to the election office on Thursday morning. There was heavy security during the vote that was held in a separate room away from where the other voters were casting their ballots. A number of city police officers were present to help.

Sheriff Hammond said the inmate voting process went smoothly without incident.

Ms. Mullis-Morgan said the election office did send an employee to the workhouse to vote prisoners there, but she said the office was a day late on the jail vote. She said state law sets out that the prisoner vote must be held at jail facilities a certain number of days before the election.

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