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Secretary Merrill Releases Information Regarding the Restoration of Felony Voting Rights


August 4, 2017 - MONTGOMERY - Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill would like to remind the People of Alabama of a law change passed by the Alabama State Legislature in the 2017 Legislative Session, which defines the crimes considered by the state as involving moral turpitude.

Previously, Registrars (as appointed by the Governor, Auditor, and Commissioner of Agriculture and Industry) had the sole discretion to determine whether a crime involved moral turpitude or not. This change will define those crimes which count in the state as crimes of moral turpitude.

The crimes that are considered crimes that involve moral turpitude are as follows:



Kidnapping in the 1st or 2nd degree

Endangering the water supply

Possession, manufacture, transport or distribution of a destructive device or biological weapon

Selling, furnishing or giving away a destructive device or biological weapon

Possession, manufacture, transport or distribution of a detonator, explosive, poison or hoax device

Possession or distribution of a hoax device represented a destructive device or weapon

Attempt to commit an explosive or destructive device or biological weapon crime

Conspiracy to attempt an explosive or destructive device or biological weapon crime

Hindrance or obstruction during detection, disarming or destruction of a destructive device

Possession or distribution of a destructive device or weapon intended to cause injury or destruction

Trafficking in cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamine, or other illegal drugs


Torture or willful maltreatment of a child under the age of 18

Aggravated child abuse

Prohibited acts in the offer, sale, or purchase of securities


Theft of Property

Theft of lost property

Theft of trademarks or trade secrets



For a voter to restore their voting rights without a full pardon, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. No pending criminal charges
  2. Completed full sentence, pardon/probation, OR been pardoned
  3. Paid all fines, fees, and restitution ordered at the time of the sentence on the disqualifying felony (post-conviction fees are not included)

In addition to the crimes above, some crimes require voters to remain ineligible to vote unless they receive a full pardon. The crimes that require a pardon before voting rights can be restored are as follows:




Sexual abuse

Sexual torture

Enticing a child to enter a vehicle for immoral purposes

Soliciting a child by computer

Production of obscene matter

Parents or guardians permitting children to engage in obscene matter

Possession of obscene matter

Possession with intent to distribute child pornography

Alabamians in this category and wish to seek a full pardon should contact the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles at (334) 353-7771 or (334) 353-8067.

Beyond the crimes listed above two crimes render a voter permanently ineligible to vote in any future elections. Elections that permanently disqualify a voter from participation are as follows:



Voters that have never been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude are eligible to register and vote during their incarceration. Alabamians that believe they are eligible to to have their voting rights restored, should contact the local Pardons and Paroles office in the county that they live in.   

Alabamians that wish to register to vote, update their information or check their current registration status can visit or call 1 (800) 274-8683.