WSB-TV Gets Real: Can you vote if you’ve been convicted of a felony?

Confusion about voting rights is an issue many people are facing as we head into the November elections.

The Georgia Justice Project believes misinformation may keep some voters from casting a ballot.

GJP says Georgia has about 350,000 former felons and many are not exercising their legitimate right to vote.

The biggest misconception, according to the GJP: You cannot vote, if you have a felony conviction or if you’re sitting behind bars. Both are not true.

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Unlike nearby states like Alabama and Florida, in Georgia you can cast a ballot even if you served a sentence for a felony conviction.

“I like to call it one of the great urban myths of Georgia and that is: If you have a felony conviction then the myth goes, you can never vote again in Georgia. And that is not the law,” said Doug Ammar, the executive director of the Georgia Justice Project.

You are eligible to vote in Georgia if you meet these requirements:

  • You completed the felony sentence.
  • You are in jail, but not serving for a felony conviction.
  • You are under a first offender sentence, that hasn’t been revoked
  • You meet all other basic requirements for voting,such as registration, age, citizenship, and residency.

“Once you’re back in society and your rights are restored, there’s no better way than showing up and showing you’re part of the community than by voting and helping our community decide where we’re going to go together,” Ammar said.