Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for an Alabama U.S. Senate seat, accused Democrats on Tuesday of attempting to register felons in order to sway the special election to his Democratic opponent.
What he failed to acknowledge is that the new voters are all people who have done their time or are in the process of paying their debt to society, and now have had their right to vote restored by the Alabama Legislature.
In May, Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed a new law passed by the Republican-controlled legislature defining 42 crimes ― including murder, kidnapping and rape ― as felonies of moral turpitude. The clarification meant that many people who may have been told they couldn’t vote in the past were now clearly eligible. But Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R) said his office didn’t have to take any special action to educate people about the law.
So over the last few months, several organizations ― including Legal Services Alabama, the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama and the Campaign Legal Center, which helped bring last year’s lawsuit ― have been holding clinics to give Alabamians the good news and register people to vote. Activists estimate they’ve registered thousands ahead of the Nov. 27 deadline for the special Senate election.
“A bipartisan majority of the Alabama Legislature passed a law defining for the first time in decades who has the right to vote and who does not,” wrote Danielle Lang of the Campaign Legal Center in an email. ”... Pursuant to that law, we are making sure that every lawful voter knows about their rights since the Secretary of State has done a dismal job of that. All candidates should want to compete on a fair playing field where all eligible voters are able to participate.”
by Sam LevineRead the full article...