US Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) Convicted; May Lose Ability to Vote
[Note: On Oct. 27, 2008 Senator Stevens was convicted on 7 of 7 felony charges.]
Shayana Kadidal, JD, Senior Managing Attorney of the Guantanamo Project at the Center for Constitutional Rights, wrote in an Oct. 27, 2008 article titled "Can Ted Stevens Vote for Himself? Not Anymore," published on www.huffingtonpost.com:
"The New York Times reports, correctly, that Sen. Stevens can run for reelection despite his convicted felon status…
Ironically, though, it looks like Stevens may not be able to vote for himself. Felons whose crimes involve ‘moral turpitude’ (defined by state law to include bribery, Alaska Stat. 15.60.010(9)) cannot vote in Alaska, at least until their civil rights are restored, which only happens when ‘a person is released from all disability arising under a conviction and sentence, including probation and parole.’ (The statute is at this citation: Alaska Stat. 15.60.010(39).) Deregistration from the voting rolls is automatic upon conviction.
Stevens was convicted of violating ethics disclosure rules. Technically the indictment charged violation of the federal criminal statute 18 U.S.C. 1001, which makes it a crime to knowingly fill out a federal form falsely. I guess the question now is whether that offense fits within the definition of a ‘felony involving moral turpitude’ under Alaska law.”
Jack Tapper, ABC News' Senior National Correspondent, wrote in an Oct. 27, 2008 article titled "Stevens to Continue Re-election Campaign; Will the Convicted Criminal Be Able to Vote for Himself?," published on www.abcnews.com:
"Our Senate reporter, Z. Byron Wolf, asks a pertinent question…Can Stevens vote for himself Tuesday given his criminal status?
Jonathan O'Quinn, program manager of the Alaska elections division, says, 'The State of Alaska Division of Elections is currently reviewing this issue with the Department of Law to determine if the crimes are considered felonies involving moral turpitude under Alaska law. Voting rights in Alaska are only removed when a person has been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude.'
'Moral turpitude' is a vague term, however, already creating confusion when it comes to voting rights." Oct. 27, 2008 Jake Tapper