The first voter registration drive by a local organization inside Bexar County Jail wrapped up last week, ensuring that several hundred absentee ballots will be headed into the jail become November.
“We wanted to make it possible that inmates serving misdemeanor sentences and those that haven’t gone to court yet are able to exercise their Constitutional rights,” said Antonio Diaz, of the Texas Indigenous Council, who led the effort.
Diaz hopes to return closer to the general election in November and later expand the effort to other county jails around the state to make sure the poor are not wrongly penalized by being denied a chance to vote. “If you’re too poor, you cannot bail out, so you’re serving over a year’s time waiting for court,” Diaz said.
Meanwhile, the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s office has ruled a January in-custody death at the jail was the result of natural causes.
43-year-old Ricardo Guzman died two days after turning himself in for a drug-related offense. He was detoxing off of heroin, according to jail records released to the Current today through an Open Records request.
The Bexar County District Attorney’s office had attempted to withhold an inch-high stack of documents related to Guzman, but was ordered to release them by the Texas Attorney General’s office.
I wrote in January:
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