Roy Moore

Roy Moore Sees Restoration of Voting Rights of Felons as a Plot Against Him

A law signed by Alabama's Republican governor allows many ex-cons to return to the ballot box.


Part of the get-out-the-vote campaign for the special Senate election in Alabama includes a push to get felons freed from prison registered again so they can cast a ballot on December 12.

When reported on a pastor who claims to have gotten thousands of felons registered to vote before a deadline that passed earlier this week, here's how GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore responded:

The organization involved is actually a religious nonprofit involved in things like soup kitchens, adult literacy classes, and youth programs.

What's actually happening here is that Alabama, back in May, passed a law that allowed more felons to regain the right to vote after they've been released from prison. It was backed by both GOP-controlled halves of the state legislature and was signed into law by Republican Gov. Kay Ivey.

Alabama law strips voting rights from citizens convicted of felonies "of moral turpitude." But the state didn't clearly define what it meant by "moral turpitude," instead listing five offenses that specifically did not count. The new law, dubbed the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act, lists all the crimes—more than 40—that are bad enough that offenders will lose their vote. It hits all the major felonies: murder, manslaughter, rape, kidnapping, etc. (Also, "enticing a child to enter a vehicle, house, etc., for immoral purposes." Just making note of that, given the allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore.)

In short, the restoration of these felons' voting rights is not about Moore at all. It's about bringing people who have done their time and moved on with their lives back into a role as contributing members of society.

There's no reason these people shouldn't have their rights restored—no reason, at least, that isn't fundamentally bound up with a candidate or party's political concerns. Moore's tweet doesn't make a coherent argument about why these felons shouldn't have their voting rights restored. He cares only that they might vote for his opponent. This, somehow, is supposed to be an inherent outrage.