By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4)– Some may have heard that those who have a criminal record cannot vote. Turns out, that’s not entirely true.

(credit: CBS)

“It is an urban and suburban myth in our state,” said Juston Cooper, the Deputy Director of Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition.

The truth is that the only people who can’t vote are people currently incarcerated for a felony. That means if you are a felon on probation or parole, or have served your sentence, you can vote. Same goes for people currently in or out of custody for a misdemeanor.

Juston says incarcerated people are just as interested in who leads this country as everyone else.

“People who are confined are also interested in civically engaging in our election process,” he said.

(credit: CBS)

Many, however, any are unaware they can vote or are unable to vote because they are locked up. Denver County is trying to change that.

On Thursday, Juston’s coalition and the Denver Sheriff Department spent time registering to vote those who were incarcerated.

“Denver will be the first in our state to incorporate voter service polling centers in the jail. And it’s my hope that the 52 county jails in our state will follow suit.”

People who signed up were appreciative they will be able to have a voice in November’s election.

“It’s our right to vote and we can vote and we should because we can help change,” said Darrell Wordworth.

(credit: CBS)

Robert Embry said, “I think this country needs change and the only way we are going to change is if we stand up.”

Juston said he thinks everyone should vote even if they have trepidation about getting involved in the system that sent them away, “It’s our constitutional right and it’s vital to the health of our democracy.”

Michael Abeyta

  1. “Some may have heard that those who have a criminal record cannot vote. Turns out, that’s not entirely true.” — it’s much closer to entirely not true; only persons incarcerated or serving a term of parole cannot vote in Colorado.

Leave a Reply