Saturday, May 20, 2017

AL Legislature Approves Bill That Would Restore Many Felons Voting Rights


Many Alabama Felons will soon regain the Right to Vote when Gov. Kay Ivey signs a Bill that landed on her Desk Thursday morning.

The Bill - HB282, 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 the Gov. 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.

Rather than continuing to be loosely interpreted as referring to every Felony but a list of five that includes Driving Under the Influence and Aiding and Abetting, the term would refer to less than 50 Specific "felonies that involve moral turpitude which disqualify a person from exercising his or her right to vote," the Legislation states.

By redefining "Moral Turpitude," the Bill would effectively restore "thousands" of felons' right to Vote. "This bill is a step in the right direction," Danielle Lang, Deputy Director of Voting Rights at the Washington, D.C.-based Nonprofit Campaign Legal Center, said in a Thursday Statement. "With a stroke of her pen, Governor Ivey could enfranchise many Alabamans that have been wrongly denied the right to vote by the state's longstanding, arbitrary process of disenfranchisement."

For Generations, the Disenfranchisement of Felons has resulted in tens of thousands of Alabamians being left out of the Electoral Process even once they have done their Prison Time and Paid their Debts to Society. The Bill's Text states that it would go change that by "ensur[ing] that no one is wrongly excluded from the electoral franchise" and "provid[ing] a comprehensive list of acts that constitute moral turpitude for the limited purpose of disqualifying a person from exercising his or her right to vote."

Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, Founder of The Ordinary People Society, a Dothan Nonprofit Advocacy Group, said the Law would have wide-reaching impacts on many Felons across the State, including many Incarcerated Offenders who would regain the Right to Vote and therefore be Eligible to Vote via Absentee Ballot. Glasgow, who has been working to Re-Enfranchise many Felons since shortly after he was released from Prison in 2001, said the Legislation would also Restore Voting Rights for Alabamians who are Charged with Felonies but have not been Convicted.

Eileen J. Jones, a Spokeswoman for Gov. Kay Ivey, has said that she anticipates Ivey will sign the Legislation. "The Governor will probably sign it pending review of the legal office," Jones wrote Friday morning via email.

CLICK HERE for more information about HB282.











NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
Digg! StumbleUpon

No comments: