Alabama might allow more former felons to vote in upcoming elections after lawmakers, for the first time, approved a definitive list of what crimes will cause someone to lose their voting rights. Alabama lawmakers last month gave final approval to legislation that defines a crime of “moral turpitude” that will cause someone to lose their voting rights. The measure, which was signed into law by Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, is aimed at ending confusion over who can, and can’t vote, because of prior convictions. The new list of 46 types of felonies includes robbery, assault, felony theft and drug trafficking but not offenses such as drug possession.
Voting rights advocates called it a “step forward” in softening the policy of blocking ballot box access for people with criminal records – and hit African-Americans particularly hard.
“It’s like a step toward freedom after years of waiting. It’s giving people their citizenship back,” said the Rev. Kenneth Glasgow, who for years has fought to register people with prison records to vote.
The 1901 Alabama Constitution says people convicted of crimes involving “moral turpitude” are no longer able to vote, but didn’t define the term nor list any crimes meeting the definition. Politicians for decades have squabbled for decades over what crimes should be on that list.
Full Article: Alabama law could allow more people to vote | The Herald.