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Lunch with the League of Women Voters NYC: ‘Voting in Jails’ with Hazel Weiser

May 14 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

In 1974 the United States Supreme Court recognized a citizen’s right to vote when detained in New York State county jails while serving misdemeanor sentences or awaiting trial. However, that right has been ignored, undermined, and rarely actualized. Here in New York City, there are more than 6000 people detained at Rikers Island at any one time. Over 85% of those detained are awaiting trial and therefore presumed innocent. Despite concerted efforts by the Voting in Jails Coalition, of which the League of Women Voters of NYC is a member, the right to vote in jail remains severely compromised.

Inspired by the stories told by formerly incarcerated people, the League of Women Voters of New York Criminal Justice Reform Committee saw an opportunity to determine the actual status of voting in all of New York State’s jails. The survey, conducted during Spring 2023 was published in June 2023, and its findings are the basis for the latest advocacy, education, and legislative efforts to ensure access to the ballot for this often underserved and overlooked population.

Hazel Weiser supervised the data collection and is the author of Voting in New York Jails: A Qualitative Analysis of Access (June 2023). She will review her findings and discuss short term and long term recommendations to improve access to the ballot for those detained in New York City and New York State jails.

Speaker: Hazel Weiser is a retired attorney, law professor, and law school administrator who has spent the last seven years working with the League of Women Voters of NYC and NY State and currently with Trinity Church Prison Ministry promoting jail-based voting as an aspect of self-empowerment. Through the LWVNYC, she has taught the history of voting rights and the history of voter suppression in high schools, colleges, faith-based organizations, and reentry groups throughout New York City.


$20 – Click Here to Purchase on Eventbrite

About the League of Women Voters NYC

Visit the League of Women Voters in the City of New York at


May 14
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Ceremonial Hall (4th Floor)
2 W 64th St
New York, NY 10023 United States
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