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Voter Registration Effort Focuses On Ex-Offenders

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File photo of a voting booth. (credit: Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

File photo of a voting booth. (credit: Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

Gregg_Cherrie--NEW Cherri Gregg
Cherri Gregg is the community affairs reporter for KYW Newsr...
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By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Several community groups are coming together tomorrow in an effort to register voters well in advance of the Pennsylvania’s governor’s election this fall. There’s a particular focus on one group of unlikely voters.

Philadelphia is home to more than 300,000 ex-offenders and many have no idea they can vote.

“Most of the decisions that are made from ex-offenders are done without input from ex-offenders,” says Tracey Fisher is founder of Gateway to Re-Entry. His group is partnering with city officials and other non-profits to host a voter education workshop and expungement clinic on Saturday to educate all voters, but also to make sure returning citizens get ready for November.

“Could you imagine if 300,000 ex-offenders came together under one voters block?” He says, “ex-offenders would no longer have to beg for scraps at the table because that puts us in the position to vote you in and vote you out. We want housing, we want programs, we want jobs.”

Representatives from the City Commissioner’s Office and other elected officials will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at Myers Rec Center at 5803 Kingsessing Avenue. Call 610-284-6246 for details.

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