Courthouse News Service: Group Fights Felony Disenfranchisement in Alabama
Nearly 250,000 Alabama residents are being denied their right to vote due to the state’s felony disenfranchisement laws, the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center claims in a new video.
According to the video “Uncounted: America’s Silenced Citizens,” as many as six million Americans nationwide are currently being prevented from voting due to prior felony convictions.
“Mostly they live in 12 states that can take away your voting rights forever,” the video states. “One of the most aggressive is Alabama. Almost 250,000 people have been caught in the net.”
In 2016, the center filed a class-action seeking to have Alabama’s felony disenfranchisement laws declared unconstitutional on the grounds that it is racially discriminatory.
The complaint claims the law is “inextricably tied to Alabama’s long history of denying black citizens voting rights and equal access to the polls, using the criminal justice system to achieve those goals.”
“The list doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Campaign Legal Center attorney Danielle Lang says in the video. “For example, you could have a single sex crime conviction and lose your right to vote permanently. But you could be convicted of embezzlement or fraud and a number of other white collar crimes and you don’t lose your right to vote.”