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Alabama GOP Stops (Lawful) Prison Voter Registration [View All]

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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-24-08 08:23 AM
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Alabama GOP Stops (Lawful) Prison Voter Registration
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Edited on Wed Sep-24-08 08:29 AM by Fly by night
Prison inmates have the right to vote under Alabama law, but the right to distribute absentee ballots on prison property is being challenged by state GOP officials, the Associated Press reported Sept. 19. Here's the link to the full article:

Pressured by the state's Republican Party, Alabama prison commissioner Richard Allen agreed to stop a voter registration drive in state prisons, citing state law that makes it illegal to use state-owned property to promote or advance candidates for election.

"While it is not clear that assisting voters to register would violate those provisions, I cannot expose departmental employees to that possibility," Allen said.

A coalition led by Rev. Kenneth Glasgow had been delivering absentee ballots to prisoners in state jails. Alabama inmates convicted of misdemeanor offenses and certain felonies not considered crimes of "moral turpitude" are allowed to vote using absentee ballots. Glasgow focused on registering prisoners convicted only of drug possession.

In a letter sent to the commissioner, Alabama Republican Party chairman Mike Hubbard, who opposes voting rights for inmates, said that delivering absentee ballots to prisoners was unnecessary. "I have concerns about potential issues with how this effort is being monitored to ensure no form of voter fraud occurs," he added.

Glasgow said he would continue the registration drive. "How can the people who are supposed to be upholding the law break the law?" he said. "I think they're more worried about me being a Democrat than anything. The chairman of the Republican Party and the chairman of the Democratic Party can go in there with me and monitor it to make sure it's nonpartisan."

I found this article on the Join Together Online daily news summary. (Join Together is a national coalition of people working to reduce the harmful consequences of substance abuse.) Here is my posted response to this story:

"With fewer than 30% of Americans willing to admit they are Republicans, this party continues their full-court press to suppress voting nationwide. From improperly purging voting rolls to demanding IDs from 80 to 90 year old nuns to breaking Alabama's voting laws, there seems to be nothing Repubs won't do to deny the franchise to American voters. And if they aren't successful with voter suppression, they simply steal elections.

"Every Join Together member should watch 'Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections' and 'Stealing America: Vote by Vote', both of which are available on DVD. Prepare to be afraid -- very afraid -- for the sanctity and security of our democratic processes and traditions. Forget about mental health funding parity or more resources for substance abuse prevention and treatment services. If we cannot rid ourselves of these un-American election thieves, we'll only have money left for body bags and Wall Street bailouts.

"My apologies to any honorable Repubs on this board -- you have much work to do to rescue the party of Lincoln from the death grip of people who govern and campaign like the Confederacy won the Civil War."

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