By: Rhiana Huckins Email
By: Rhiana Huckins Email

Reverend Kenneth Glasgow of the ordinary people society here in Dothan spent 14 years in prison on drug related charges.

His voting rights were restored in 2004 and ever since, he's been pushing for inmates to exercise their rights.

In an effort to register more inmates to vote, reverend Kenneth Glasgow left a stack of voter registration forms at the Houston county jail.

Only now since the Alabama department of corrections is asking him to stop, he is not sure if they will be used.

Alabama republican chairman mike Hubbard says he is concerned with voter fraud and does not support inmate’s rights to vote.

"The president of the united states- being the top republican in the country signed off on the second chance act for re-integration and re-entry and supports ex felon’s restoration rights," says Reverend Glasgow.

The state of Alabama says inmates can vote using an absentee ballot if they have been convicted of a misdemeanor offense.

Inmates also have the right to vote if they're convicted of felonies that do not involve moral turpitude like a as dui, drug possession, or trespassing.

"I’m starting to learn that there is a difference between human beings and humane beings the only people we are registering are people with non violent victimless crimes," says Glasgow.

The Alabama department of corrections did not have anyone locally who could talk to news 4 on camera, but gladly e-mailed a copy of Commissioner Richard Allen’s letter to mike Hubbard.

A portion of that letter read:

"Section 36-12-61 of the Code of Alabama makes it unlawful to use any state-owned property of any character to promote or advance candidates for election. While it is not clear that assisting voters to register would violate those provisions, I cannot expose departmental employees to that possibility."

Some local residents how they feel about inmates having the right to vote:

"They obviously broke the law and that is why they are in prison and once you do that, you no longer have any rights," said Allison Kenny, a Cottonwood Resident

"You got to understand that they do not follow the system, so why should their opinion matter when they really do not care about it?" says Nick Gabbrielli, a Dothan Resident.

"I think they have the right to vote, because they are still humans, still people, some of them did a few things wrong, but they are going to be released back into society so I think they should be able to vote and have an opinion of what goes on in the society." Says Penny Durham, a Dothan Resident

And Commissioner Allen says those registering the inmates didn't have to be there.

He says the inmates could register to vote on their own.

But he also says having dozens of volunteers or the even candidates appear in a correctional facility defeats the purpose of prison.

For now, the only action that the Alabama department of corrections can take against those holding inmate voter registration drives... Is to ask them to stop coming into the jails.


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