This Thursday, about 100 ballots are expected to be cast from inside the Allegheny County Jail.
So what does Election Day look like for people who are incarcerated?
There are two groups in the jail who aren’t allowed to vote: those found guilty of a felony who will still be incarcerated on Nov. 8 and those found guilty of voter fraud in the past four years, said Mark Wolosik, elections division manager for Allegheny County.
Everyone else is eligible to vote by absentee ballot, which is due at 5 p.m. Friday.
Pennsylvania is one of 14 states where voting rights are restored as soon as someone completes a felony sentence, 90.5 WESA reported during the primary.
Wolosik said there’s nothing in the Election Code that specifies a process for voting in the jail. So the election division staff uses the same process it uses for absentee ballots in places like the veterans hospital or nursing homes to make the process easier and consistent.
Last week, teams went to the jail to collect absentee ballot applications. They will come back this week — on Thursday — for ballots to be cast.
Doing this a day before the absentee deadline “allows us an additional day to cure any issues without having to worry that the person’s vote will not count,” Wolosik said.
And, he said, interest in voting from people who are incarcerated varies from election to election.
“It typically mirrors interest in the county and so, for a presidential year, is up,” he said.