In his 21 years of service, Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood said inmates have never asked for the opportunity to vote.
“I have never been confronted with that in all my years,” said Chitwood, who was the guest speaker at the local NAACP chapter’s monthly meeting Monday night in Dalton. “Nobody’s ever requested it.”
About 30 people attended the meeting at the Mack Gaston Community Center and asked Chitwood about a variety of issues, and inmate voting rights was a hot topic.
Chitwood said the sheriff’s office cannot deny an inmate the right to vote if he or she meets voting qualifications. He outlined those qualifications as a valid United States citizenship, being at least 18, live at the residence matching the application form, being an eligible voter in Georgia and Whitfield County, not serving a felony conviction and not being ruled mentally incompetent.
According to those qualifications, an inmate would have to be serving a misdemeanor conviction in addition to the other criteria.