A federal lawsuit filed on Monday claims that Alabama’s law revoking the voting rights of any person “convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude” is racially discriminatory and unconstitutional, the New York Times reports.
More than 250,000 Alabamans are ineligible to vote due to a past felony conviction.
As the country’s incarceration rate grew over the past three decades, according to The Sentencing Project, a Washington-based nonprofit group, laws like the one in Alabama left nearly six million people ineligible to vote by 2010. But over the past 15 years, said Marc Mauer, the executive director of The Sentencing Project, there has been a broad and largely successful movement against these laws.
“The vast majority of the reforms that have taken place have been toward expanding the electorate, cutting back on longstanding categories of disenfranchisement and/or making the process more transparent,” Mr. Mauer said, speaking of recent activity along these lines in California, Maryland and Virginia.
Read the full article in the New York Times.