Alabama sees spike in ex-felon voting registrations; advocates see room for improvement

The Montgomery Advertiser

"When your voice no longer means anything, that takes a lot from someone."

Like Florida and several other states, Alabama strips voting rights from those incarcerated, those on parole and probation, and even some who have completed their sentence. 

Nationwide, approximately 6.1 million people cannot vote as a result of a felony conviction, according to 2016 data from The Sentencing Project. In Alabama, The Sentencing Project estimates approximately 286,000 ex-felons have completed their sentences but lack the ability to vote.

Nonprofits managing grassroots voting reinstatement efforts across the state estimate a few thousand have regained their right to vote this election season. One such program, the Alabama Voting Rights Project, is a collaboration between the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Campaign Legal Center and has helped 1,205 formerly incarcerated citizens register to vote or apply for a CERV as of the end of October.

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