Georgia Representative-Elect Marjorie Taylor Greene is having a Twitter fit over jailed people in her state receiving mail that includes a voter guide and a registration request form. However, her post leaps to some conclusions that are far from fact.
Greene tweeted photos of a stack of mail, including one shot that showed an addressed envelope and one that showed an absentee ballot request form. She tagged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, demanding that he explain the letters — which clearly did not come from him.
First, have a look at the tweet. (Screenshot at the bottom of the story in case it’s deleted.)
Hey Brad @GaSecofState!
Explain to me why applications for absentee ballots are being sent to jails???
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) December 8, 2020
“I thought I’d ask you first,” she tweets to Raffensperger, since his name is on the absentee ballot request forms. Raffensperger is the Secretary of State, and his name is on the form in that capacity. In fact, the envelope that Greene shows to prove that the envelopes are addressed to someone in jail would answer her question easily, if she chose to also look at the return address.
The mail was sent from Ameelio — a tech nonprofit. Next City did a complete profile on them in October, when they sent voter registration information to incarcerated people in Maine, where being imprisoned does not restrict the right to vote.
So, what about Georgia? Here’s a helpful document from the Georgia Senate.
Can I vote in Georgia if I am in jail?
Maybe. Anyone is eligible to vote as long as they are not serving a sentence for a felony conviction. If you are in jail because of a pending case or because you are serving a sentence for a misdemeanor conviction you are eligible to vote. You are not eligible, however, if you have been convicted of a felony and are awaiting transfer to a state prison. In order to register you must mail the registration application to your local registration office.
In other words, her state’s laws, and her state’s governing body, assure voters that even in jail, they may have the right to vote — there’s nothing illegal about this mailing. It’s not actually clear why a legislator from Georgia wouldn’t check Georgia’s laws and figure that out before tweeting a gripe about voting access for legal voters in her state, though.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com