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SPLC Action Fund Condemns Passage of Bill that Criminalizes Assisting Alabamians with Absentee Ballots

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Today, Alabama’s legislature passed an anti-voter bill, SB 1, which would charge individuals with a felony for assisting their neighbors in requesting or applying for an absentee ballot.

“Weeks after memorializing the brave Alabamians who were viciously assaulted while marching to guarantee the foundational right to vote, the Alabama Legislature has passed one of the most egregious voter restriction bills since the Civil Rights era," said Jerome Dees, Alabama policy director for the SPLC Action Fund. “This cruel legislation aims to criminalize the charitable acts of good Samaritans across the state, whether from neighbors, church members, nursing home staffers, or prison chaplains.” 

"While the passage of SB 1 is disappointing, we do not doubt that the same spirit our forebears possessed, as they endured the struggles of the 1960s, will manifest in a new generation. Our resilience is evident that we are bruised, but not beaten. Bullied, but unbowed. Bent, but unbroken. And we, too, shall overcome,” concluded Dees. 

Today’s passage of SB 1 follows a troubling trend in Alabama of creating new obstacles to voting, marking the fourth consecutive year that anti-voter bills have been presented to the Alabama Legislature, prompting questions about the state’s commitment to protecting voting rights.

SPLC Action Fund strongly urges Governor Kay Ivey to promptly veto SB 1 and protect the fundamental right to vote. 


Senate Bill 1 proposes criminal penalties for those providing or accepting gifts or any form of compensation, such as money for gas or the salary received by a nursing home staffer if part of their duties include providing assistance to residents in completing their absentee ballot applications. 


About the SPLC Action Fund  

SPLC Action Fund is a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond, working in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements, and advance the human rights of all people. SPLC Action Fund is the 501(c)(4) affiliate organization to the Southern Poverty Law Center. For more information, visit