In a meeting room in Alabama’s State House on Wednesday afternoon, Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, a longtime advocate for those who have been incarcerated in the state, looked across the room at Department of Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn and announced, with a laugh, that they were in agreement. That exchange came after several minutes of discussion on the intricacies of imposed court fees, but the conclusion was a microcosm of the meeting of the Voter Disenfranchisement and Restoration of Voting Rights Exploratory Committee – a mishmash of state officials, law enforcement, court workers, legislators and public advocates.
The committee has been meeting for more than five months, with a primary goal of crafting a series of bills that will restore the voting rights of some felons in the state and also define a number of vague criminal statutes.
“This is not a liberal or conservative issue,” said Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, who is leading the committee. “It’s not some cutting edge thing we’re doing here. We’re just trying to make sure we protect the right to vote for citizens of this state.
“Right now, we have people in certain positions who are determining the eligibility of citizens to vote based on nothing more than their own interpretations of the law. That’s not right. It’s not fair.”
Full Article: Committee working to restore felons’ voting rights.