Georgia denies the right to vote to:

  • people who were convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude
  • while the person is in prison, on parole, oron probation
  • including if State is waiting on the payment of fines, fees and/or restitution.

Once a person has completed all of the terms of their sentence, the State automatically restores the person’s voting rights.

All ex-felons need to do is to register to vote with the Secretary of State’s office.

However, the State of Georgia has NOT provided a list of crimes which involve moral turpitude. The Secretary of State’s office has adopted a policy stating that a person convicted of any felony who has not completed the terms of his or her sentence is denied the right to vote.

In Georgia, the government takes away your right to vote if you have been convicted of any felony. This is unfair and illegal!

The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits a state from denying any U.S. citizen the right to vote in federal elections based on the person’s failure to pay a poll tax.

Georgia’s requirement that convicted felons pay any fines, fee, or restitution associated with their sentence is an unconstitutional poll tax and discriminates against individuals on the basis of wealth.

THE PROBLEMS

  • 5.3 million Americans have lost their right to vote due to a felony conviction.
  • About 283,607 Georgians have lost their right to vote due to a felony conviction.
  • Too many Georgians falsely believe that once convicted of a felony they have lost their right to vote forever.
  • Throughout Georgia, voter registration forms are not being processed for persons with a felony conviction.
  • Georgians are being denied the right to vote even though their crimes did not involve moral turpitude.
  • Most ex-felons do not earn enough wages to pay restitution, and therefore can not vote.
  • Across Georgia, African American men are vanishing at the polls; 1in 8 have a felony conviction.

DEMOCRACY & FAIRNESS FOR EX-FELONS

  • The right to vote in America is a key component of democracy. Democracy includes all Americans.
  • For a democracy to work, it cannot exclude a large number of voters; simply because they are ex-felons.
  • Once felons have served their time in prison, and are back in society; it is unfair to continue to punish them for the rest of their lives.
  • Ex-felons maintain jobs and pay taxes; it is unfair to tax ex-felons but not allow them to vote.
  • Restoring ex-felons voting and civil rights is part of effective rehabilitation.
  • Denying ex-felons their voting and civil rights is a part of Georgia’s shameful heritage of discrimination.

Restoring Your Voting Rights

If you would like to register to vote or find a local election office, please contact:

Brian P. Kemp, Secretary of State
Elections Division
2 MLK Jr. Dr. S.E.
Suite 802, Floyd West Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
404-656-2871
http://www.sos.state.ga.us

The ACLU of Georgia would like to talk to you if…

  • The Secretary of State's office has rejected your voter registration application form based on your felony conviction even though you have completed all of the terms of your sentence; or
  • You would like to vote, but cannot afford to pay the fines, fees, and/or restitution associated with your sentence.

If you need assistance with restoring your voting rights contact:

  • The ACLU Voting Rights Project: 877-523-2792 or via email at vrpaclu@aol.com

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