House defines what crimes will cause a person to lose voting rights

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MONTGOMERY, Alabama — The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a bill to clarify which felony convictions cause a person to lose voting rights.

House members approved the bill on a 99-1 vote.

The Alabama Constitution dictates that people convicted of felonies involving "moral turpitude" are not able to vote. However, courts have wrestled with what crimes are crimes of moral turpitude.

Rep. Mike Jones of Andalusia said a definitive list of disqualifying crimes would prevent differences in interpretation from county-to-county. The bill would also allow registrars to purge voters from the rolls with those convictions. The bill lists disqualifying offenses ranging from capital murder to second-degree theft. A person would not lose voting rights for drug possession.

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