Bill would restore voting rights for people who were once incarcerated

Bill would restore voting rights for people who were once incarcerated
(Source: KAIT-TV)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama Senate passed a bill to help people who have been in prison regain their rights to vote. But now it has to get through the house. Faith in Action is helping work to push this bill through.

Senate Bill 118, if passed, will restore voting rights for people who were previously incarcerated.

“People have been without that right due to felony disenfranchisement,” says JaiGregory Clarke, Faith in Action’s Voter Rights Restoration Community Organizer. “It has a lot of majority support and we believe it’s very important for our community for every citizen to have a voice and a vote.”

Clarke, says this bill is crucial to helping people enter back into society after serving in prison.

“If a person is free from incarceration and living among us, working among us and raising families among us,” says Clarke. “Why shouldn’t that person have a say in how our government is run?”

Last week, Faith in Action sent a letter of support to State Rep. Mac McCutcheon (R), speaker of the Alabama State House, calling on the state House of Representatives to vote to pass Senate Bill 118.

The letter contained over 90 signatures from Alabamian faith leaders.

“We are working diligently to cross the finish line with this step, and are ensuring that formerly incarcerated Alabamians have a chance to be able to regain their right to vote without having to pay lingering fees or submit an application to the Board of Pardons and Paroles,” says Clarke. “Restoring such a vital human right is critical to ensuring that they are able to move beyond their past and into a present and future world full of possibility.”

Clarke says the response from the majority and Republicans has been positive. He’s hopeful that it will pass in the House of Representatives.

Tuesday, Faith In Action will host two events at noon and 6 p.m to bring more awareness to the bill.

“We would like every Alabamian to register for ‘Our Power: One Half Hour’ where we talk about Senate Bill 118,” says Clarke. “We can let our legislators know that this issue is important to us.”

For more information on Tuesday’s event visit tinyurl.com/yf6cybwt. For help finding out if your voting rights can been restored, contact JaiGregory Clarke at 205-482-1189.

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