The right to vote and participate in our democracy is currently denied to over 18,000 citizens who are incarcerated in Maryland. Dating back to the racist Jim Crow era, state felony disfranchisement laws were created to prevent Americans entangled in the legal justice system from voting. After the Civil War, there was a concerted effort to incarcerate thousands of Black people who were newly freed, in order to weaken their political power. In Free the Vote, a new documentary by the ACLU of Maryland, we talked with people who were formerly incarcerated, politicians, historians, and advocates who share their experiences and dreams of a Maryland and country where the right to vote is restored for every citizen who is currently incarcerated.

In this episode listen to Farajii Muhammed, host of “For the Culture” on WEAA 88.9 FM; Qiana Johnson, executive director of Life After Release; Dr. Pippa Holloway, author of “Living In Infamy: Felon Disfranchisement and the History of American Citizenship”; Chris Wilson, serial social entrepreneur, storyteller, artist, social justice advocate, and author of "The Master Plan"; and me, Amber Taylor, the producer of Free the Vote and digital communications strategist at ACLU of Maryland. Together, we explain why we need to ensure every citizen who is incarcerated has access to the vote and the ballot behind bars.

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Produced, edited, and hosted by: Amber Taylor, Digital Communications Strategist, ACLU of Maryland

This podcast was recorded on Piscataway land.


Thinking Freely, ACLU of Maryland's monthly podcast, informs Marylanders about what's happening politically – from the courts to the streets – so they can get involved and realize a more equitable Maryland for all. 

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