Alabama: Singleton introduces bill to restore voting rights on release from prison
AP reports: Several black lawmakers expressed their support Thursday for a bill that would automatically restore voting rights to convicted felons upon their release from prison.
State Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, who is sponsoring the bill, said the current system, which requires felons to apply for a voting certificate, has created long delays in restoring voting rights and disenfranchises inmates who have already "paid their debt to society."
About two dozen advocates for voting rights restoration joined Singleton, Sen. Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, Rep. Yvonne Kennedy, D-Mobile, and Rep. Ralph Howard, D-Greensboro, on the Statehouse steps Thursday, holding handwritten signs reading "Unlock the Vote" and "Unlock the Block" at the news conference.
The bill states that of the 262,000 felons who have lost their voting rights under Alabama's law, half are black. Ross told reporters that while the law disproportionately affects blacks, who make up only 25 percent of the state population, voting rights should be everyone's concern. -- Welcome to TimesDaily.com