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writing for godot

How to Defeat Roy Moore and Turn Alabama Blue

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Written by sinclair   
Thursday, 28 September 2017 03:21

By Sinclair Noe
SinclairNoe.com

Alabama blue? I know it sounds crazy but there is a chance, a slim chance and it is worth a shot. Roy Moore is crazy and he would be a very dangerous senator, so this is important.

Even in Alabama, Moore just barely squeaked by in statewide votes to become chief justice, twice. And he was removed from office twice. In 2003, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ordered him to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from a courthouse. He refused and he was removed from office. In the 2012 election, Moore narrowly won back his old position as Alabama’s chief justice, with 51% of the statewide vote. Soon after, Moore issued an order to judges to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses. The Alabama Court of the Judiciary found Moore in violation of judicial ethics and suspended him for the duration of his term. In 2010, Moore ran for governor and lost after polling just 19% of the vote. Moore is such an embarrassment that even in deep red Alabama he can barely get elected.

Now, let’s do some math. In the 2012 race for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Moore polled 52%, or 1,051,627, and Bob Vance polled 48%, or 977,301 – a difference of 74,326.  How can a Democratic candidate overcome a nearly 75,000 vote shortfall? Democratic nominee Doug Jones is an extremely competent challenger, a respected former prosecutor who has never been removed from office and is not an insane racist. Former Vice President Joe Biden plans to visit Alabama to campaign with Jones in October. That’s all good but probably not enough to overcome that deep red mentality.

Alabama has been disenfranchising felons using a century-old, discriminatory provision which states that “no person convicted of a felony of moral turpitude” should be permitted to vote. But the state had never officially defined what constituted moral turpitude, leaving the decision to state officials who regularly disenfranchised thousands of felons and ex-felons. In May 2017, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed The Definition of Moral Turpitude Act, effectively granting the vote to as many as 250,000 felons – a number that is disproportionately African-American. The United States incarcerates more citizens than any other country in the world. We have 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s prisoners. And many of those prisoners lose the right to vote, even after they have served their time and paid their debt to society, again many of the disenfranchised are disproportionately African-American. The white robes of Jim Crow were succeeded by the black robes of modern day mass incarceration and voter suppression.

Now, if approximately 250,000 felons and ex-felons in Alabama were somehow miraculously registered to vote by mid-November, they might just make a difference in the Moore-Jones senate race. We don’t know how all those formerly disenfranchised might vote but considering the racial composition, let’s guess that 80%, or 200,000, vote for the Democratic nominee Jones, and 20%, or 50,000, vote for the Republican nominee Moore.  That swings 150,00 votes and based upon 2012 voting patterns the Democrat wins by about 75,000. Even if only half of those currently disenfranchised voters are registered and vote, it means a dead heat between Moore and Jones. In this race, every vote matters.

Of course, it would not be easy to register thousands of new voters in Alabama. This would require a strong grassroot, boots on the ground, door knocking campaign to ramp up registration and get people to the polling places on election day. But Moore is vulnerable. He won’t be able to raise much money. Campaign donors won’t want to be associated with that homophobic racist. Now for the kicker – start a social media campaign (it worked for the Russians) to write-in Luther Strange on the December ballot. It might just be enough to splinter the GOP vote and turn a squeaker into clear Jones victory.

Imagine if Alabama turned blue in December. Imagine the shock wave that would send through the remaining 51 Republican senators. Imagine the charge that would send through the entire Democratic Party. Vermont and Maine are the only states that do not take away voting rights. Unsurprisingly, in Vermont and Maine the “purity” of the vote has not been sullied by allowing ex-cons to vote. It is estimated that 1,500,000 ex-cons in Florida have been disenfranchised. Ask Al Gore and Hillary Clinton if that would have made a difference. If Alabama can turn blue, the entire nation can turn blue. Every vote matters. It’s worth the fight.

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