Group suing to force Alabama to add thousands of convicted felons to state voting rolls


Alabama state voting rolls show that more than 66,000 convicted felons lost the right to vote under the state's felony disenfranchisement law, many of whom may now be eligible to regain the right to vote under a new state law. And a nonprofit is now asking the state to automatically register several thousand former felons who applied but were denied the opportunity to vote.


The Campaign Legal Center, a Washington, D.C.-based voting rights advocacy group, heads to U.S. District Court in Montgomery Tuesday afternoon for a hearing on a motion the organization filed June 30 on behalf of 10 plaintiffs.

The motion calls on Chief District Judge W. Keith Watkins to force the state to update voter registration materials and take other steps to educate felons about their rights under the new law.


Corey Goldstone, a spokesman for the Campaign Legal Center, said via email Monday that the group recently learned from the state "through litigation requests that 66,807 voters have been purged from the rolls and 7,717 voters had their applications denied, because of Alabama's felony disenfranchisement law."

Their motion reads: "For eligible voters that were recently denied the right to vote based on their convictions under the prior system, the most straightforward and direct remedy is their reinstatement to the voter registration rolls and an accompanying notice of that reinstatement."

Danielle Lang, senior legal counsel for voting rights and redistricting at the Campaign Legal Center, said Monday that the lawsuit is aimed at restoring the franchise to people who have been wrongly barred from voting.

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