Alabama became the 22nd state to enter the US on December 14, 1819. The largest city in the state is Birmingham and the state capital is located at Montgomery. Comprised of just over 52,000 square miles, Alabama is the 30th largest state in the U.S. People who live in Alabama are called Alabamans. Major industries in this friendly southern state include agriculture, mining, steel-making and hydroelectric power.
The name “Alabama” itself is a Creek Indian name which means “tribal town.” The state goes by two nicknames. Locals refer to the state as the “Heart of Dixie” as well as the “Yellowhammer State.” The state motto is Audemus jura nostra defendere, or “We dare to defend our rights.” That name is surprising when it comes to felons trying to regain their voting rights. However, rights are not re-granted in certain situations.
Felons who have been convicted of certain crimes of moral turpitude (CMT) may apply to have voting rights restored after they compete their sentence and pay the applicable fees and fines. However, you cannot have your voting rights restored if you have been convicted of one of the following crimes – rape, murder, treason or a crime involving a child. In this case, you will be permanently barred from voting for the rest of your life.
Specific offenses that are considered to be crimes of moral turpitude (CMT) are –
· Voluntary manslaughter
· Involuntary manslaughter, in some instances
· Spousal abuse
· Child Abuse
· Aggravated assault
· Animal fighting
Felon Voting Law in Alabama
More information about felon voting laws and rights can be accessed by clicking on this link, which is an overview of felon voting rights comprised by the American Civil Liberties Union or ACLU for the state of Alabama. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, then you do not lose your basic right to vote. You can also vote by absentee ballot if are incarcerated for this kind of crime.
If you have been convicted of one of the state felonies, you will not lose your right to vote in an election for the following crimes:
· Aiding, permitting or facilitating a prisoner to escape
· Conducting business without a license
· Being in possession or under the influence of a controlled substance
· Simple assault
· Violation of state liquor laws
If your felony is not listed above, then you must apply for voting reinstatement. In most instances, you should apply for a Certificate of Eligibility to Register to Vote, otherwise known as a CERV. Otherwise, you must request a pardon if you were convicted of the following crimes:
· Luring a child to enter your vehicle for immoral reasons
· Child pornography
· Sexual abuse
· Sexual torture
How a Felon in Alabama Can Restore Their Voting Rights
If your felony does not require a pardon, you can apply for a CERV after you complete your sentence, including any period covering parole or probation, and have remitted all the court costs, fines, fees and victim restitution.
In order to apply to the Board of Pardons and Paroles, you need to contact the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama (ACLU) at 888-685-7979 to obtain an application, or you can download the form by clicking on this link.
Once application for a pardon is made, the Board has 50 days in which to grant your request. If convicted of a crime in the above listing, you must seek your pardon from the Board of Pardons & Paroles. You must indicate that you wish to seek restoration for your right to vote. If the Board grants your pardon but does not state that your right to vote is restored, the pardon has been granted but your voting rights will not be restored. As stated, crimes involving a child or which involve treason, murder or rape are crimes where voting rights are not normally reinstated.
Any felon who can vote once his sentence has been served and the requirements for parole and probation have been met can register to vote by picking up a form at a local post office, county court house, DMV, WIC program, parole or probation office, community center, welfare office or chapter of the NAACP. A form can also be downloaded by clicking this link.
Other Resources For Felons in Alabama
Jobs For Felons: If you're a felon looking for a job in Alabama, we have all of the resources you need including job listings by city, companies that hire felons, and our own job board. Click Here to learn more.
Legal Representation: If you're in need of an expungement attorney to try to get rid of your felony in Alabama, or need a criminal lawyer or other type of lawyer, you can get a FREE consultation by clicking here to visit our legal representation page.