Alabama

Articles about voting issues in Alabama.

Alabama: Group suing to force Alabama to add thousands of convicted felons to state voting rolls | AL.com

Alabama state voting rolls show that more than 66,000 convicted felons lost the right to vote under the state’s felony disenfranchisement law, many of whom may now be eligible to regain the right to vote under a new state law. And a nonprofit is now asking the state to automatically register several thousand former felons who applied but were denied the opportunity to vote. The Campaign Legal Center, a Washington, D.C.-based voting rights advocacy group, heads to U.S. District Court in Montgomery Tuesday afternoon for a hearing on a motion the organization filed June 30 on behalf of 10 plaintiffs. Read More

Alabama: ‘Restoration clinics’ to help felons register to vote under new Alabama law | AL.com

In March 1965, Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma served as the starting line of the two famous marches toward Montgomery that propelled the voting rights movement into the national consciousness. Four months later, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law, ushering in a new era of increased access to the polls for African-Americans and other minorities across the South and beyond. On Saturday, a new voting rights effort kicked off inside that historic church, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once spoke and Selma marchers nursed their wounds after being beaten by state troopers near the Edmund Pettus Bridge 52 years ago. Read More

Alabama: Group wants Alabama to educate voters about new voting law | Associated Press

A voting rights group has asked a federal judge to force Alabama to tell people that they could be eligible to vote after previously being disqualified for a felony conviction. U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins on Wednesday scheduled a July 25 hearing on the Campaign Legal Center’s injunction request. The Campaign Legal Center last week asked Watkins to require the state to implement an education campaign and take other steps, after lawmakers approved legislation clarifying which felonies cause a person to lose voting rights. The group also asked the state to reinstate eligible voters and disclose all voter registration applicants and voter registrants who were denied the right to vote on the basis of conviction in the past two years. Read More

Alabama: Registering felons to vote in jail: How a new Alabama law impacts voting rights | AL.com

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!'” Read More

Alabama: New law more clearly defines which felons can lose their voting rights | WRBL

A new Alabama law now allows some convicted felons to earn back the right to vote. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed he bill into law in May, reversing the more than century-old rule. While state lawmakers could not decide how to spend nearly $1 billion on prison reform, they could all agree on one thing. After 116 years, Alabama lawmakers decided it was time to let several criminals have a second chance to make their voices heard. The defining, unanimous push behind state Sen. Mike Jones’ (R-AL, District 92) bill ultimately changed a law dating back to 1901. Rep. Chris Blackshear (R-AL, District 80) says the new law specifically lists more than 40 felonies that would automatically strip criminals of voting rights. Read More

Alabama: Law could allow more people to vote | Associated Press

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. Read More

Alabama: ‘Crossover Voting’ Banned in Runoffs | Associated Press

Alabama has a new law that prohibits voters from switching their political party allegiance between a primary and subsequent runoff. Alabama does not require primary voters to register with a political party. The crossover voting ban is an attempt to prevent voters of one political party from trying to meddle in another party’s runoff – although there is a dispute about how much that actually happens. “If you vote in one party’s primary, you can’t switch to the other’s runoff,” state Sen. Tom Whatley, the sponsor of the bill. Read More

Alabama: New law clears up voting confusion for Alabamians with a felony | WSFA

Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill into law Wednesday that clears up confusion for some 250,000 Alabamians who currently can’t vote due to a felony conviction. There’s now a list that clearly defines which felonies prohibit someone from the ballot box for life. For others, this bill could restore their voting rights, but just how many remains unclear. If you’ve been convicted of a crime, the Southern Poverty Law Center breaks it down like this: your voting rights fall into one of three categories. Read More

Alabama: House approves redistricting bill over objections | Associated Press

Alabama’s GOP-dominated legislature redrew legislative maps Friday under court order to fix racial gerrymandering, punctuating a session rife with racial turmoil over issues such as the protection of Confederate monuments and an email that compared lawmakers to monkeys. The Senate on Friday approved new district maps and sent them to the governor despite objections from black Democrats who said the new ones are still gerrymandered to maintain white GOP dominance in the conservative state. In January, a three-judge panel in January ordered legislators to redraw lines before the 2018 elections, saying Republicans had improperly made race the predominant factor in drawing 12 of 140 legislative districts. Read More

Alabama: Legislature approves bill that would restore ‘many’ felons’ voting rights | AL.com

“Many” Alabama felons will soon regain the right to vote if Gov. Kay Ivey signs a bill that landed on her desk Thursday morning, according to advocates. The bill, called the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act, passed both houses of the state legislature Wednesday, a victory for backers who have sought for years to see it codified into law. If Ivey signs it, the bill would more clearly define the term “moral turpitude” as it is used in the state constitution, which stipulates that “no person convicted of a felony of moral turpitude” may vote. Read More