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New Alabama law restores voting rights for many convicted felons

August 31, 2017

by Tara Belcher

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has officially signed into law the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act, giving many convicted felons, both incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, the right to vote.

Tara Belcher – Photo: Alabama Department of Corrections

Previously, the state barred some felons from voting. This measure was part of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901. Under section 17-3-30.1, a provision was added to the Code of Alabama in 1975, 17-3-30.1 (2) (c), which allowed the state “To provide 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.” An extensive list of offenses followed which clarified which individuals were disqualified.

I encourage all prisoners in Alabama who are eligible to step up and register now. Contact Secretary of State John Merrill and the Board of Registrars in the county where you currently reside. Black brothers, shine! Black sisters, arise! Although I’m not a beneficiary of this law, my support to those to whom it applies is infinite.

Get into the legal library and search out the code used to convict you. If the database accessible to you is not up to date, as was the case in Tutwiler, request a copy of HB 282 from the Legislative Department. See if you are eligible.

If so, get in there.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has officially signed into law the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act, giving many convicted felons, both incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, the right to vote.

The consensus is that prisoners aren’t politically savvy and can’t make informed decisions on civil affairs. They aren’t expecting us to apply and exercise the right to vote.

Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, said, “The percentage is still small. [Even though] they can, a huge number of them never apply to vote again. If you talk to registrars across the state, it’s a fraction of people who apply for it.”

Let’s prove him and others who share those sentiments wrong. Stand up, people!

I encourage all prisoners in Alabama who are eligible to step up and register now.

Many have fought and paved the way. Let it not be in vain. It’s up to us to carry the torch and press forward. It’s been passed to us keep it movin’.

Forward ever, backward never.

Empress Tara Belcher

Send our sister some love and light: Tara Belcher, 211925, Tutwiler CF F1-21A, 8966 US Hwy 231, Wetumpka AL 36092.

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