Project Orange Story by April Henshaw

When I saw the call to help register voters who were currently incarcerated, I knew I had to do it.

I was raised by a single father, in part, because both of my parents were convicted felons. He was always saying that the government didn't care about him, the primary example being that he wasn't even allowed to vote. I know now that is untrue. But it took him decades to find that same truth.

One simple bit of dignity to make you feel you are part of the community at large could have a ripple effect on someone's life.

Because of my childhood, I avoid police officers at all costs. They trigger a lot of anxiety and I had not thought of this until right before I began the drive to the Sheriff's office. I realized I would be around inmates, but I was suddenly more afraid that I would be around a bunch of police.

I also hadn't thought about the fact that in all of those years of legal issues and arrests, I had never been inside a jail/prison. All of this hit me with a quickness and I confessed to the person in charge that I had also never registered anyone to vote, so I was "nervous about that".

In reality, I was nervous about at least 10 different things that morning.

I am so glad that I did it now.

I hope to encourage people to have their voices heard and am working on rallying some folks in Austin to do the same thing there!