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Secretary of State’s Office Announces Win in Moral Turpitude Lawsuit


Friday, December 4, 2020 – MONTGOMERY – Secretary of State John H. Merrill responds to the recent ruling by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama Northern Division:

“Last night, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama Northern Division ruled in our favor, confirming that Alabama’s current voter registration application is adequate in meeting the needs of Alabamians and in compliance with federal law.

“Our voter registration application clearly lists the qualifications necessary to register to vote at the very top of the form. While Plaintiffs alleged the form was not sufficient in identifying crimes of moral turpitude, our office has worked extensively to notify Alabamians of these crimes through listing them online, on the back of absentee ballot applications, and through information supplied to the Board of Pardons and Paroles, the Department of Corrections, and county Sheriffs.

“In 2017, our office worked with the Alabama Legislature to clearly define the crimes of moral turpitude, which, upon conviction, prohibit an individual from being eligible to vote. In defining the 60 crimes of moral turpitude, we created a consistent standard among all 67 counties, as opposed to leaving the interpretation up to each county’s Board of Registrars.

“After an individual completes his or her sentence and pays all fees and fines associated with the original sentence, he may apply to have his voting rights restored.

“Our office allocates an extraordinary amount of time, effort, and resources into educating Alabamians on voter registration and voter participation. Last night’s ruling reaffirmed that these efforts satisfactorily meet state and federal statute.”