Parkland Shooter Nikolas Cruz Registered To Vote As Republican From Jail Cell
The gunman who killed 17 students at Stoneman Douglas High School, Nikolas Cruz, registered to vote as a Republican while in jail awaiting his trial.
The 20-year-old who is accused of perpetrating the deadly Parkland school shooting, registered as a Republican while awaiting trial at the Broward County jail in July, but failed to exercise his vote in November due to a delay in sending inmates their ballots.
The father of one Cruz’s victims, Andrew Pollack, called the move “despicable” and said on Twitter that the news made him “sick to his stomach.”
“[He] murdered 17 students & staff, including my daughter Meadow,” Pollack tweeted. “Yet in July, Broward Sheriff @ScottJIsrael let people into the jail to get him & other animals registered to vote.”
Inmates are constitutionally entitled to the right to register and vote in elections before their trials, so long as they do not have any other legal disqualifications.
The main barriers preventing inmates from voting are administrative, as not every person held in jail pre-trial is not aware of their constitutional right to vote, according to the Center for American Progress.
“There are some practical barriers but no legal barriers to voting from jail, nor should there be,” said Christopher Uggen, a University of Minnesota sociology professor.
Cruz, who is charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder, has not yet been formally convicted, and so still qualifies as a voter.
“It’s absolutely normal. It’s his constitutional right,” said Broward County sheriff’s office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright. “Nothing different happened this year from any other year.”