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Suit Accuses Alabama of Bias in Law That Bars Some Felons From Voting

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: americans, elections, freedoms )

- 752 days ago -


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Phyllis P (237)
Tuesday September 27, 2016, 11:01 am
A puzzled Ms. Todd gathered the official documents she keeps on hand, including the photo ID she had been required to obtain for voting in Alabama, and called her son, Timothy Lanier. He knew exactly what this was about. He knew, from a similar letter he had received himself. He also knew from his long days at the prison library learning about state laws by poring over the State Constitution.

And, as it just so happened, Mr. Lanier is one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed on Monday in federal court in Alabama, claiming that the state law stripping the vote from any person “convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude” — a law that has left more than 250,000 adults in the state ineligible to vote — is racially discriminatory, indefensibly vague and flagrantly unconstitutional.

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Such a law, the suit alleges, is racist in its origins and is biased in its effect, disenfranchising roughly 15 percent of Alabama’s black voting age population, compared with fewer than 5 percent of whites. The suit argues that bias lies in the crimes generally chosen as involving moral turpitude — there are multiple interpretations of the crimes in that category — and in the requirement that fines and restitution be paid before the right to vote can be granted again, a condition that falls harder on the poor.

Phyllis P (237)
Tuesday September 27, 2016, 11:02 am
“The vast majority of the reforms that have taken place have been toward expanding the electorate, cutting back on longstanding categories of disenfranchisement and/or making the process more transparent,” Mr. Mauer said, speaking of recent activity along these lines in California, Maryland and Virginia.

Still, there are outspoken opponents of this trend, who argue that the ability of felons to vote again, even if attainable, should not be automatic, to reflect the seriousness of criminal conduct. Eleven states prohibit some or all felons from voting permanently, barring a pardon or other government action. Alabama, like several other states, allows some felons to regain voting eligibility; in four states — Florida, Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia — all of those convicted of felonies permanently lose their right to vote. In Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, this year issued a sweeping executive order that restored voting rights to 206,000 ex-offenders, an order that was struck down in July by the Virginia Supreme Court.

Beth M (138)
Tuesday September 27, 2016, 2:36 pm
This is so wrong. I live in Virginia and believe it to be discriminatory. They paid for their crimes and were released for jail. Why are you taking away one of an American's most precious right?

Animae C (507)
Tuesday September 27, 2016, 3:46 pm
i agree with Beth!

Birgit W (160)
Tuesday September 27, 2016, 3:46 pm
Outrageous! Thanks for sharing.

Phyllis P (237)
Tuesday September 27, 2016, 6:42 pm
I too live in VA, Beth.

Sheryl G (360)
Tuesday September 27, 2016, 7:59 pm
This is the case in Florida as well. Our former Governor Charlie Crist signed a bill to allow felons to vote again in Florida, the when our Tea Bag Governor, Rick Scott got in he signed another bill to undo that one. So once more the people can't vote.

Voting should be a fundamental right to be given back as soon as you have served your time.

JL A (281)
Tuesday September 27, 2016, 8:55 pm
Sounds like being punished beyond the sentence for the crime--a life term of sorts when life is deemed to harsh for the crime. Thanks for bringing this to our attention Phyllis and the vagueness of the law being challenged is ready made for selective applications and bias.

Mandi T (367)
Tuesday September 27, 2016, 10:11 pm
Noted TY

MmAway M (514)
Tuesday September 27, 2016, 10:36 pm
Thank you Phyllis...I copied a part of your news that disturbed me, but saw you already had it up there. BTW to be honest with you I did not sign up on the link. Think I caught another paragraph of you news sweetie..I was part of what you had already posted.

We have Dead people Vote, People that are apparently illegals Vote, then this happens??

Ummm??? Our political system never ceases to SHOCK THE POOP out of me! Pretty soon, anyone over 80 won't be able to vote since they might be senile.

MmAway M (514)
Tuesday September 27, 2016, 10:40 pm
Oops 1st paragraph There is a live link to sign up on the news...(continue) I (nope it) was a part of what you already posted.

Sorry! Great Comments all above! Phyllis, not tracking any new development on this or a petition etc. will you please write me! Mark IMPORTANT since I am so behind! SWAK

Shirley S (187)
Tuesday September 27, 2016, 11:06 pm
In Australia we have COMPULSORY voting or face a fine unless there is a good reason for not voting. Why doesn't America have the same idea ??? Should citizens petition for this system ???

Shirley S (187)
Tuesday September 27, 2016, 11:09 pm

Rose Becke (141)
Tuesday September 27, 2016, 11:15 pm

Sandra Penna (135)
Wednesday September 28, 2016, 3:50 am
Unbelievable. In Brazil voting is compulsory as in Australia, and we always vote on Sunday. I'm a psychiatrist, and doctors who are on duty take turns to vote.

Thank you for sharing, Phyllis.

Lona G (67)
Wednesday September 28, 2016, 4:01 am
Again Republicans stoop to the lowest possible level to disenfranchise black people to prevent them from voting against them. It's all too obvious they need to stoop so low to stay in power.

Pat B (356)
Wednesday September 28, 2016, 6:07 am
This rule is so outdated it's beyond ridiculous, and so discriminatory and demeaning!!

It's a crime to VOTE?? unreal!

Thank you, Phyllis for this, let me know if there's a petition for this also.

Mike M (40)
Wednesday September 28, 2016, 6:41 am
Typical of the way the GOP wants to take over the country and take away rights from citizens.

Barb SiteIssues V (202)
Wednesday September 28, 2016, 10:20 am
Noted, Thank you

Janet B (0)
Wednesday September 28, 2016, 1:22 pm

TomCat S (127)
Wednesday September 28, 2016, 1:30 pm
Here in Oregon, fortmer felons may vote as soon as they are released from prison.

Lois Jordan (63)
Wednesday September 28, 2016, 3:00 pm
Noted. Thanks, Phyllis.
It is terrible to create laws to disenfranchise voters. I also believe that voting should be mandatory, and we should either have a holiday off work to vote, or make it on a weekend. We also need to dump all those electronic voting machines and go with paper ballots. There needs to be much more oversight on all vote counting in every single state.

Ed Site Issues V (198)
Wednesday September 28, 2016, 3:13 pm
Noted, Thanks

Colleen L (3)
Wednesday September 28, 2016, 4:50 pm
That's crazy. Thanks Phyllis

Suzanne L (99)
Wednesday September 28, 2016, 8:54 pm
Canadians who will be 18 years of age or older on polling day and who are in a correctional institution or a federal penitentiary in Canada may vote by special ballot. Once an election is called, a staff member in each institution is appointed as a liaison officer and helps prisoners register and vote

Suzanne L (99)
Wednesday September 28, 2016, 8:56 pm
The point I meant to make is that whether you're locked up or not, in Canada you can vote.

Arild Gone for now (174)
Thursday September 29, 2016, 4:10 am
WTF !!!

Trish K (29)
Thursday September 29, 2016, 9:14 am
Barring felons from Voting is discrimination, but then who would know more about who the bad guys really are than the ones that rot in Jail , even since Vietnam. Jails were built for Veterans, drug addicts, mentally ill, and skin color. Open those Jail House doors - set them free, then we can fill it with the ones who really should be in there and I know you all have your preferences - I do

Sheryl G (360)
Thursday September 29, 2016, 6:17 pm
With 2.2 million in prison and over 7 million tied to the correctional system in some capacity a lot of people do not have the right to vote in the USA.

On top of it with Interstate Crosscheck there are another 7 Million people who are being purged off the voting rolls. PETITION Release Names On Interstate Crosscheck If that is not enough we have people who can't get through the ID system to vote and if one still has still managed to keep their voting rights they must stand in long lines till their legs fold on them.

Anything and everything to keep people from voting - after all the Elites are running the show anyways. If one does manage to get to vote it is for the Candidate that the Republican or Democratic Party picked by the Elites to give an illusion you have a democracy. Combine that with election fraud to get rid of someone like Bernie Sanders who surprised the crap out of them - or hacking the machines - one can never be sure of anything. But just listen to the Corporate Media - they'll tell you what you need to

Janis K (126)
Saturday October 1, 2016, 9:44 pm
Thanks for sharing.

Jocelyn Koopmann (54)
Sunday October 2, 2016, 5:48 am
Small Minded....Unfair.......In Australia everyone HAS TO VOTE. Why not its the country you live in.
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