Felon Voting

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Some blacks in the state legislature say Gov. Bob Riley could jeopardize his $1.2 billion tax package if he vetoes the prize legislation of the Black Caucus, a bill to restore voting rights for some felons.

The leaders of the Alabama House and Senate also have asked Riley to sign the bill, saying it passed the Legislature as part of a package with a measure requiring voters to show identification at the polls.

Riley is expected to make a decision on whether to sign each bill before Sunday, when he's scheduled to leave Alabama for an industry-hunting trip to Europe.

The restoration bill, which returns voting rights to former felons who have completed their sentences and paid all fines and restitution, passed the legislature on Monday, the final day of the 2003 session.

Mobile Rep. Yvonne Kennedy, sponsor of the bill, said she believes a veto of the legislation would hurt the chances of blacks voting for Riley's tax package.

Voters will decide the fate of Riley's package when they go to the polls Sept. 9.