Alabama: a confusing case about felon voting rights
The Columbus GA Ledger-Enquirer reports: After listening to an hour of lawyers' arguments Thursday about who should represent the state in the case challenging Russell County Commissioner Ronnie Reed's right to keep his post, a Houston County, Ala., judge said he'll decide that issue next week.
At the heart of the challenge is whether Reed, convicted of burglary in Columbus in 1975, is legally holding office. Reed, 51, served five years on probation after his conviction for burglarizing Safe Lite Optical on Jacqueline Drive nearly 31 years ago.
According to Alabama law, a convicted felon not pardoned in the state where the offense occurred is not eligible to hold public office in Alabama. Reed's voting rights were restored at the end of his sentence, but his political rights weren't restored by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles until December -- after the challenge was filed and more than a year after he was elected. Reed, who didn't attend the hearing, represents Russell County District 4. -- Ledger-Enquirer | 02/10/2006 | Judge holds off on Reed case