(Source: ACLU of Alabama)
Know Your Rights!
Based on the Alabama Constitution, people who commit “crimes of moral turpitude” lose their right to vote. Some may be eligible to restore their voting rights. Basic information is here on this webpage, but you can find more detailed information about the status of your voting rights on the ACLU website at (see URL).
A new law passed in 2017 defined a list of 46 crimes that result in loss of voting rights. If you have not been convicted of one of these crimes, then you do not need restoration because you are eligible to vote.
While some criminal convictions require a full pardon in order to vote, most are eligible for an expedited process to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility to Register to Vote (CERV).
Which crimes are on the list of “crimes of moral turpitude”? A partial list follows:
Can Vote IF PARDONED
- Rape, sodomy, sexual abuse or torture
- Production or possession of obscene matter
- Possession with intent to distribute child pornography
- Enticing or soliciting a child for immoral purposes
Can Vote IF RESTORED
- Manslaughter, assault
- Drug trafficking
- Burglary (1st or 2nd degree)
- Theft of property or lost property (1st or 2nd degree)
- Robbery (1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree)
- Forgery (1st or 2nd degree)
You are eligible to apply for restoration if the following is true:
- You have no pending criminal felony charges.
- You have paid all fines, court ordered costs, fees, and restitution ordered at the time of sentencing on disqualifying convictions. Post-conviction fees, and costs related to non-disqualifying convictions do not apply.
- Your sentence has been completed.
- You have successfully completed probation or parole.
How do you apply for restoration?
- If you are eligible, contact the Board of Pardons & Paroles. You can do this in person at your local Probation and Parole office, over the phone, by mail, or by email.
- You must include your name at conviction and true name, address, phone number, sex and race, date of birth, social security number, prison ID number, and conviction history (indicate whether state or federal conviction).
- The Board of Pardons & Paroles has a 30 day discovery period followed by a 14 day response window to process voting rights restoration applications, so you should receive a response within 44 days.
- If your criminal history includes a conviction that requires a pardon, you can also contact Pardons & Paroles to learn how to start the pardon process.
You can get free counseling services about voting rights restoration in Alabama by contacting the “Return My Vote” rights restoration clinic at (205) 326-6821, or by clicking on the following link: ReturnMyVote.
The clinic is a partnership between faculty and students at the University of Alabama and Greater Birmingham Ministries (GBM).