Felon voting changes made after outcry

Published 05/13 2014 07:40PM

Updated 05/13 2014 08:49PM

"We know that it happened in 2000, we know that it happened in 2004, in Ohio and Florida.  We refuse to allow it to happen here," said Kenneth Glasgow, Executive Director of The Ordinary People’s Society (TOPS).

A press conference was held by tops, citing numerous complaints from around the state, and in Houston County, of people who have been denied the right to vote just weeks before the June 3 primary election.

"We have people standing behind me who have possession of drugs,” Glasgow said.  “Possession, not sales, no other crime, never had any other felony, and they have been stricken from the voter list and should not be."

They were denied because they committed crimes the state says are crimes of moral turpitude, including rape, bigamy and robbery, and in this case, possession of marijuana in the 1st degree.

But he says his 2008 lawsuit over the Moral Turpitude Act ensures that people with any possession charge can still vote.

"What we're looking at is the disenfranchisement is on an all time high.  And this is why we're calling this press conference.  Let my people vote.  Let's stop the voter suppression, let's stop the voter intimidation.  Let my people vote," said Glasgow.

We met with the Houston County Board of Registrars.  They say they are simply following the state's rules.

"I check the codes, based on our book that we have, a list of codes of moral turpitude, we determine if it's moral turpitude or not. If not, we clear the codes off of our screen," said Board of Registrars Member Julia Pacheco.

"When an application comes in, we look to see if they are a qualified voter.  If they are a qualified voter, then we issue a ballot to that voter," Carla Woodall, Houston County Circuit Clerk and Absentee Election Manager.

During our investigation, the State Attorney General and Board of Registrars were contacted, and we learned the state corrected its records today.  They will now allow people with drug possession charges to vote. 

Houston County officials say anyone with concerns about voter registration should contact the county directly. 

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