Updated: Tuesday, 25 Sep 2012, 12:20 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 25 Sep 2012, 12:03 PM EDT
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- Election Day is right around the corner, but are you all set to vote?
Well, today is National Voter Registration Day. Some people who didn't think they would have a chance to vote will get to have their voices heard.
"I've never voted in my life," said Nat Pop.
Joseph Onofrio says he's never thought politics, but he's had a lot of time to think. He just got out of prison a month ago after serving three years for breaking parole.
"I was just never interested, you know? I didn't think it affected me," explained Onofrio, "but I notice now it's very important for everybody...to vote."
He lives at Project More and he is one of of 500 ex-convicts that a program tries to help every day. The city is trying to help get them to the polls.
"We think it's very critical to re-engage this population in the voting process," said Althea Marshall Brooks, Re-Entry Coordinator for New Haven's Mayor Office.
She says there are only three conditions that ban folks from voting, if they're currently behind bars, on parole, or if they committed election fraud.
"I would hope that we live in a society where people can have a second chance," said said. "They've served their time and they're trying to get back and just to look for a positive to come back and do something positive."
Plus, she says it helps get them back on track.
"You can feel kind of isolated, not included. You have a stigma or a label attached to you, where as you become engaged in the civic proccess, something that everyone can become a part of, you start to feel a part of it," said explained.
Onofrio says he's ready to be a part of it, but he wants to do a little work before casting his ballot.
"You know Republicans or Democrats, I'm not really sure to this day," Onofrio said. "I don't really understand the whole process, but you know, I'm learning.
The city will be running programs like this throughout the fall. The last day for everyone to register is October 30th.