Changes coming to how jailed votes are counted in Virginia

Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail (FILE)
Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail (FILE)(WVIR)
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 3:27 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Votes from those incarcerated will be counted locally this year, which may affect upcoming elections in the commonwealth.

“This was one of the kind of waves of reform that the Democrats made when they were in power,” J Miles Coleman with the UVA Center for Politics said.

Previously, incarcerated voters would be counted in the district they were held.

“That’s something that voting rights advocates really did not like,” Coleman said. “Generally speaking, it would be used to give the rural parts of the state more clout, or representation. Most of our prisons tend to be in Southside or Appalachia, those are more conservative regions.”

Now, those who are incarcerated will be counted in the district they lived in before going to jail.

“It’s kind of odd to see in Virginia. Historically, we were one of the more conservative states when it came to voting administration, voting rights. Now, we’re sort of at the leading edge of it,” Coleman said.

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