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Can I Vote From Jail?

Unless you are convicted of a felony, yes, you can vote from jail. If you are awaiting trial or sentenced to a misdemeanor offense, you still have the right to vote – and you may need to take steps to protect this right and cast your vote in the upcoming presidential election.

Depending on where and how long you are being held, you may need an absentee ballot. Some institutions have models for voting in jail, but many jail administrators lack both knowledge of their detainees’ voting rights and plans for protecting them. According to The Atlantic, almost 600,000 people are in jail nationwide on any given day, including election day. While an estimated 64.7% of these people are awaiting trial and others are serving time for a misdemeanor, this population is de facto disenfranchised in many states.

If you are arrested and jailed around election day, you should talk to your attorney right away. When you choose a criminal defense lawyer, their job is to protect your legal rights. And the right to vote is important – now more than ever before.

Why Can’t Felons Vote?

In Idaho, felons cannot vote while serving their prison time, paroled, or serving probation. Once they have completed their probation and paid all applicable fines, however, they are automatically allowed to vote again. According to Title 18 of the Idaho Statutes, this restoration of rights applies unless the individual was convicted of treason.

Idaho residents can register to vote early or on the day of the election.

For more information on voting and felony convictions, read our blog: “Can Felons Vote in Idaho?

What Should I Do if I Am in Jail?

If you are in jail awaiting trial, make sure you have an attorney. Your lawyer will not only be crucial in having your charges dropped or reduced, but they can also help ensure your right to vote is protected.

Our criminal defense attorneys at May, Rammell & Wells can help you protect your rights and seek the best possible outcome in your case. We can also help you navigate bail and make arrangements for voting while incarcerated.

As soon as you are arrested and/or charged with a crime, you can call us at (208) 623-8021 or contact us online to put 70+ years of collective legal experience on your side.

We look forward to helping you through this challenging and confusing times, and protecting your rights – including and especially your right to vote.


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