Spencer Trawick lost the right to vote when he was convicted of felony third-degree burglary for breaking into a Dothan house in 2015. As an 18-year-old at the time, he had registered to vote only months before he got in trouble, so he was disappointed to learn that he had been barred from casting a ballot in Alabama. But on Monday, Trawick filled out a registration form while inside the Dothan City Jail with the help of Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, a civil rights advocate who has been registering inmates to vote for more than a decade. “You’re registered to vote, man! You’re a full citizen now,” Glasgow told Trawick after he filled out a voter registration form supplied by the Dothan pastor. “You can say, ‘All right, I [am] a citizen!'”
Because of a newly approved law dubbed the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act, Trawick – like thousands of other felons across the state – is now assured that he has the ability to regain the right to vote, despite the fact that he is an incarcerated convict.
Though the new law was passed with broad bipartisan support, it has generated controversy as some voters and political observers have questioned why a Republican-majority state legislature and GOP governor would approve a bill that will likely result in more convicted felons voting.