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Project Orange

This is a good thing.

Still the only voter ID anyone should need

This past Friday, January 12th, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez held a press conference along with Houston Justice representative Charnelle Thompson and Harris County Tax Office Communication and Media Relations Director Tracy Baskin, to announce what many are calling the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to help qualified incarcerated citizens register to vote who are currently in the Harris County Jail. That initiative is called Project Orange.

Project Orange is the brainchild of Houston Justice co-founder and Executive Director Durrel Douglas, whose first job out of high school was as a prison guard at a Texas prison. Douglas was moved to start this initiative after seeing how incarcerated individuals, who happened to make a mistake in their lives, were treated before and after being behind those prison bars.

“When we sat down to plan Project Orange, our goal was to reach out to eligible voters who are often ignored,” said Douglas. “When people have paid their debt to society, they should be able to rebuild their lives. Point blank…we want as many eligible voters to register, and vote. I don’t care what party they prefer, or which candidates or issues drive them. Our goal was, and continues to be to engage as many citizens as possible.”

As part of the Project Orange initiative, for four consecutive Sundays, beginning this past weekend, volunteers from Houston Justice will be escorted through the jail with voter registration cards that qualified inmates will be able to fill out. In addition, Houston Justice is staffing voter registration booths in the visitation waiting areas at the 1200 Baker Street and at the 701 San Jacinto locations.

“In our first Sunday, we registered 100 new voters,” said Douglas. “We have three more Sundays to go for our inaugural push. In the future, we plan to do this in other cities across the state as well.”

“Qualified” means just what it says – people who are legally eligible to register to vote. As the story notes, some 70% of people in the Harris County jail have not yet been convicted of anything. Many of them will not be convicted of anything, and many of the rest will plead to or be convicted of a misdemeanor. All of them have as much right to vote as you and I do. And if you still don’t like the idea of a dedicated effort to register a bunch of mostly low-level inmates at the jail, I have good news for you: You can support bail reform, so that there are far fewer of those inmates in one convenient place at a time to be registered. It’s a win-win.

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4 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    “As a matter of fact, a significantly large percentage (70%) of the inmates sitting in Harris County jail have not been convicted of a crime yet and have not been sentenced by a judge.”

    They have not been convicted of the current charge, but how many of those 70% have multiple previous convictions? The article conveniently leaves that little tidbit out.

    “….the Harris County Republican Party sent the following message out on social media to its followers on its Facebook page:

    “Today, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (Democrat Sheriff) announced a *partnership* with the Harris County Tax Office (Democrat Tax Assessor) and Houston Justice (Leftist Social Justice Warrior group) to help incarcerated citizens register to vote…..The Project Orange initiative is the most egregious effort ever undertaken to register inmates of the Harris County Jail. This is hardly the best use of taxpayer dollars. Why not go to churches or grocery stores to register voters? Why the jail?””

    We keep hearing about how Trump voters are deplorable, but it seems like the Democratic party gravitates toward people who break the law. The DNC convention prominently featured the families of dead criminals, who were celebrated, honored guests. They support the millions of people who broke America’s immigration laws, and now they want to sign up voters…..at the jail.

    The company you keep.

  2. voter_worker says:

    Bill, I know that’s right. I don’t keep company with people who believe conspiracy theories like Pizzagate, the “Memo”, the FBI “Secret Society”, the “Deep State” and the like. Also, white supremacists give me the heebie-jeebies. FWIW, the Voter Registrar’s Office vets all applicants for felon status and rejects those who are felons.

  3. brad moore says:

    Stormy’s brother,

    If you don’t believe in the right for all eligible citizens to vote just say so.

  4. Manny Barrera says:

    Bill how about all those law enforcement haters that keep attacking the FBI, the pot is as rusted if not more so than the pan. How much Russian money do you think Trump and his family has laundered? Our crook is okay is how the Republicans are now practicing.