Lawsuit challenges Alabama's felon voting rights ban

Sep 26, 2016

A federal lawsuit is challenging Alabama's practice of stripping convicted felons' of their right to vote.

Greater Birmingham Ministries and a number of Alabamians who are not allowed to vote because of a past felony conviction filed the lawsuit today in Montgomery federal court.

The Alabama Constitution dictates that people convicted of felonies involving "moral turpitude" will no longer be able to vote, although politicians and courts have wrestled with what crimes should be on that list.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs said the restriction disenfranchises more than 130,000 black citizens.

People who have completed their sentences can apply to have voting rights restored but only if they have paid all court fines and fees.