Press Releases

Councilor Sheila Tyson helps eligible Jefferson County felons register for absentee ballots

PRESS RELEASE                                                                       Monday December 4, 2017

Contact: Chiara Perry

Phone: 205-254-2055

Cell: 205-383-8432

chiara.perry@birminghamal.gov

 

BIRMINGHAM, AL – In May, Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill into law – named the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act — that restored the voting rights of thousands of felons in Alabama.

On Monday, Councilor Sheila Tyson began an effort to make sure offenders in Jefferson County knew their voting rights and were registered to cast absentee ballots. For those without disqualifying convictions, many offenders never lost their right to vote even if they have not completed their sentence or have outstanding fines or fees. The deadline to register for absentee ballots in Jefferson County is Thursday, December 7th.

“It’s terrible that so many people think that because they made a mistake in life they’ve lost their right to cast a vote in this country,” Councilor Sheila Tyson said on Monday. “We’re here to help folks register to vote so they can continue to become productive members in the community.”

Currently there are several dozen disqualifying convictions that Alabama state law has defined as crimes of moral turpitude, which includes, but is not limited to: burglary, murder, various sex crimes, and drug trafficking. The newly passed laws reduces the number of crimes that could be defined as such, thus allowing more Alabamians the right to vote.

Tyson said “it’s a huge step in the right direction,” but in order for it to make a real difference, more people need to understand their voting rights and make sure they’re registered to receive an absentee ballot.

Who: Councilor Sheila Tyson, District 6

What: Helping eligible offenders register to vote and help educate them on their rights

When: December 4th – December 7th

Where: Jefferson County Jail

This press release is a contribution from Cody Owens in the Birmingham City Council Public Information Office. For more information on Councilor Sheila Tyson’s effort to help register and educate eligible offenders on their right to vote, please contact her at 205-249-8559 to schedule an interview.  For media inquiries please contact Chiara Perry, Interim Director of Public Information, at 205.383.8432