Ala. Restores Voting Rights for Thousands With Felony Convictions

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In a move that’s sure to get people’s underwear in a bunch among those who are already against granting people the right to vote, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed a bill restoring thousands of Alabama felons’ right to vote.

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Voting rights were granted to some felons after the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act was approved. The law redefines the term “moral turpitude” in legislation that had stipulated that “no person convicted of a felony of moral turpitude” may vote.

Before the bill was signed, only five felonies were considered not to be crimes of moral turpitude, but under the new bill, fewer than 50 specific “felonies that involve moral turpitude” will disqualify a person from exercising his or her right to vote, according to ThinkProgress.

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“We commend Gov. Ivey and the Alabama state Legislature for recognizing that Alabama law left the voting rights of too many citizens—especially black citizens—hanging in the balance because of a legal ambiguity,” the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund said in a press release Thursday. “With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Ivey has taken a significant step towards making Alabama’s democracy more vital.”

The bill can be read here.

Read more at ThinkProgress.

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DISCUSSION

I believe every citizen should have the right to vote. I don’t think going to jail or having a conviction should mean saying goodbye to the one fundamental right which safeguards all the others. What is so bad about people in jail or with convictions voting? That we might end up with a “justice” system which isn’t more suited to the Middle Ages than to a civilized democracy? Crazy.