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October 10, 2008
ACLU Lawsuit Against Chapman Dismissed

MONTGOMERY – An order was released last night from Judge Tracey McCooey dismissing the ACLU’s law suit against Secretary of State Beth Chapman which challenged Alabama’s felon voting laws.


“Let there be no doubt that I am not for felons voting,” Chapman said, “However, I took an oath to uphold the law and am following the law with regard to felon’s voting rights’.”


“What we had was a case where the ACLU was trying to say that citizens who have felony convictions were being disenfranchised from voting when they had not even attempted to register to vote,” she continued. “That is an insult to the democratic process and all those who are legally qualified to vote in our state.”


Judge McCooey determined that the Plaintiffs lacked standing for the suit in part because some of the individuals bringing suit had not yet attempted to register to vote.  The order also stated that one plaintiff who did attempt to register did not exhaust her efforts to appeal the denial of her registration.   Judge McCooey determined that the claims were not ripe for the court to hear.


Judge McCooey did not make any decision on the legal merits of the claim and the Plaintiffs have the right to appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court. 


“We appreciate the quick decision on the issue by Judge McCooey and respect her ruling,” Chapman said.  “The Office of the Secretary of State is an essential part of one of the most sacred freedoms that we possess as American citizens.  I and my staff take that responsibility very seriously for all legally qualified citizens and will continue to conduct the most fair and honest elections possible”  Chapman concluded.



For more information, visit Secretary of State John H. Merrill’s Web Site: