Battleground Alabama: formerly incarcerated voters cast ballots for the first time after rights restored

Prison Pipeline

Alabama has the fifth highest incarceration rate in the country with blacks highly overrepresented. Although they make up 27 percent of Alabama, blacks account for 54 percent of the prison population.

Source: Prison Policy Initiatve

In May of this year, Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, signed the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act into law, which enfranchises former felons by restoring their voting rights. According the Alabama constitution, they should be barred.

Coincidentally, Ivey’s move is part of a nationwide push to remedy mass incarceration that the Obama Administration promoted.

Turning the Tide of the Black Vote

And so a new superhero walks through the polling station’s door. People ranging form their 20s to 60s, locking in votes that are expected to go to Democrat Doug Jones. Political strategists believe that Jones’ neglect to engage the African American community hurt his campaign in this clear oversight.

The lackluster candidate called on several high profile black politicians who canvassed with him this past weekend. As well, influential black Republicans like former U.S. Secretary of State, Condeleeza Rice and former Republican National Chair, urge Alabama citizens to not vote for Roy Moore, an alleged child molester who glorifies the times of slavery as a great moment in U.S. history.

If anything, Jones learns the power of the black vote.

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