Stepfon Lewis. (Source: WBRC video)
TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) –
Tuscaloosa mayoral candidate Stepfon Lewis received a letter from the Board of Pardon and Paroles stating he’s now a qualified elector. That means if he is elected mayor he would be eligible to serve.
In that letter it said Lewis’s voter restoration rights were granted January 24 but it was just Monday, Feb. 6 he got his certificate in the mail.
Lewis re-registered to vote Tuesday afternoon at the Tuscaloosa County board of registrar’s office after finding out the good news.
“They are here by restored! People that are embarrassed by not being able to vote, embarrassed by their past that if we can do this and be a candidate for mayor that they can go on and get their rights restored,” said Lewis.
In January, Lewis got a letter from the Tuscaloosa County Board of Registrar that said his voting rights were denied because of his distribution and possession of a controlled substance charge back in 1992.
The County Board of Registrars told WBRC FOX6 News this falls under moral turpitude according to the Alabama election handbook.
“We have people playing God with people’s voting rights and that’s something we can’t have,” said Lewis.
The Tuscaloosa County Board of Registrar’s office said in the January letter to Lewis that if he wanted to get his voting rights restored, he should call the county probation office to start the process.
“Something that long ago is going to haunt me for the rest of my life. I think we don’t need to be living in a society that holds things over people’s heads that long,” said Lewis.
If Lewis hadn’t been able to restore his voting rights, Secretary of State John Merrill said it would not have disqualified him from running, but would have made him ineligible to serve as mayor.
Voters have the option to vote for current Mayor Walt Maddox or Stepfon Lewis March 7 on Election Day.
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