Guest editorial: Felons and voting

Updated: Jul. 11, 2017 at 11:59 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A law passed in May by the Alabama Legislature is about to go into effect that will give thousands of convicted felons in the state the right to vote.

This does not include those convicted of the severest felonies, such as murder, kidnapping, rape and other sexual offenses, terrorism, and the worst of theft and drug related crimes, in general.

Before this law, county voting registrars could decide if an ex-felon's crime constituted moral turpitude, therefore preventing them from registering to vote.  That was arbitrary. Now the law defines that list of crimes.

Some people commit crimes that should cost them their right to help elect our government.

But some people just make bad decisions, they get caught, they go to jail, they pay their debt, but their crimes shouldn't keep them from voting. In fact, it should be part their rehabilitation.

I urge those who are now allowed to vote under this new law, to register and do so.

The right to vote is elemental to citizenship, and should be exercised by as many people as possible, even those convicted of some felonies.

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