Welcome to the Prison Talk Online Community! Take a Minute and Sign Up Today!

Go Back   Prison Talk > U.S. REGIONAL FORUMS > ALABAMA > Alabama Prison & Criminal Justice News & Events
Register Entertainment FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Alabama Prison & Criminal Justice News & Events Current news items and information on events related to the Alabama prison system.

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-17-2003, 08:24 PM
softheart softheart is offline
Donation Award 

Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Washington State
Posts: 10,795
Thanks: 30
Thanked 194 Times in 75 Posts
Default Voter ID, felon voting rights pass Alabama Legislature

The Associated Press
6/16/03 8:59 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The Alabama Legislature agreed Monday to make major changes in Alabama's election laws, including requiring voters to show IDs at the polls and restoring the voting rights of former felons.

Both bills passed the Senate on the final meeting day of the 2003 regular session after black legislators agreed not to filibuster the voter ID bill and Republican legislators said they would not fight restoration of voting rights for former felons.

Fights between Republican and black legislators had killed both bills for more than a decade.

Gov. Bob Riley's press secretary, David Azbell, said the governor will have to study both bills before deciding whether to sign them into law. If he does, the voter ID law would take effect in time for the Sept. 9 referendum on his $1.2 billion tax package.

The Senate and the House also gave final approval Monday to other election bills that will:

--provide for an automatic recount when the outcome of state general election races or statewide referendums are within one-half of one percentage point. If the legislation had been in effect last year, there would have been recounts in the general election for governor and secretary of state.

--push back the qualifying deadline for presidential nominees from Aug. 31 to Sept. 6, 2004. The Republican National Convention is later than normal next year because of the Olympics, and the GOP won't name its presidential nominee until Sept. 2. Without the bill, the nominee -- expected to be President Bush -- could not have been on Alabama's ballot.

--require polling places to be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. statewide, with exceptions made for areas in the eastern time zone.

--implement the federal Help America Vote Act, which will require changes in how Alabama keeps voter registration records and will require new voting machines in some counties.

The Senate voted 32-0 for the voter ID bill, which passed the House 81-17 last month.

It will require voters to show one of a wide variety of identification, including a driver's license, any other ID issued by the federal or state government, a utility bill, bank statement, passport, fishing or hunting license, military identification card, Social Security card, Medicaid or Medicare care, Electronic Benefits Transfer card, and certified birth certificate.

A person without an ID can vote if two election officials verify the person's identity.

Sen. Larry Dixon, R-Montgomery, said Republicans originally wanted a photo ID, but the federal government would not allow that. He said the bill's strength is in its penalties: up to a year in jail for an election official who doesn't require an ID and up to 10 years if a voter knowingly uses a false ID.

"It will increase the chances we have honest elections," Dixon said.

The voting rights for former felons passed the Senate 21-9. It cleared the House 56-46 last month.

Currently, when a felon completes a sentence, probation or parole, he has to apply to the state parole board to get his voting rights back. The process is long and cumbersome, and many never try to get their voting rights restored.

The bill by Rep. Yvonne Kennedy, D-Mobile, provides that when a convict finishes a sentence, probation or parole for many types of crimes, he will receive a certificate automatically restoring his right to vote. He will still have to sign up with the board of registrars where he lives.

For those who finished their sentences in the past, they can contact the state parole board and get the certificate. Kennedy said no one knows for sure how many people might be affected, but she estimated the number at 150,000 to 200,000.

Kennedy said Alabama's current system continues to punish people after they serve their time, but the bill ends that.

"It says all of our citizens are valuable to our state," she said.

Excluded from the automatic restoration of voting rights are people convicted of murder, rape, sodomy, sexual abuse, incest, sexual torture, enticing a child into a vehicle for immoral purposes, soliciting a child by computer, production or possession of obscene material, and treason
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
TEXAS Pro Bono Legal Resources David Prison & Criminal Legal Help! 7 08-14-2009 08:08 AM
Felon Voting Rights Pushed In VA Annette B. Virginia General Prison Talk, News, Introductions & Chit Chat 0 05-01-2005 02:33 PM
Article: Florida Legislation helps restore Voting Rights of Ex-felons sweetpea Florida News & Events 0 12-02-2004 12:54 PM
My First Visit!! ShannonL Ohio Prison Visitation, Phones, Packages & Mail 8 10-07-2004 07:51 PM
I searched Alabama Sentencing Commission Members vlcoffman Alabama Prison & Criminal Justice News & Events 0 12-12-2002 11:36 PM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:36 PM.
Copyright © 2001- 2019 Prison Talk Online
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Website Design & Custom vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media
Message Board Statistics