Alamo can vote in election: Certificate of discharge allows him to register

Texarkana Gazette
October 17, 2006

Alamo can vote in election

Tony Alamo has served his time in federal prison and with a certificate of discharge, he could vote in the Nov. 7 general election, Miller County Prosecutor Brent Haltom said.

Alamo, the founder of Tony Alamo Ministries in Fouke, is a convicted felon and recently registered to vote in the upcoming Nov. 7 general election.

If Alamo has a discharge of sentence certificate, he can reapply to register to vote, Haltom said Wednesday. A discharge of sentence means a convicted felon has served his sentence, including the payment of fines, and has completed his parole or probation.

Alamo faxed a copy of the “expiration of supervision” to the Gazette from the United States District Court Western District of Arkansas U.S. Probation Office in El Dorado.

The letter, addressed to Alamo, was dated Dec. 8, 1999, and signed by U.S. Probation Officer John C. Mooney Jr.

“As you are aware, your term of supervision expired on December 7, 1999. We appreciate the efforts you have made to fulfill the obligation which you accepted at the time you were placed under supervision. We hope that your relationships with our office have been helpful and extend you our best wishes for your future happiness and success,” said the letter.

The Gazette contacted the El Dorado office, but the clerk, due to privacy laws, could only confirm Mooney was a U.S. Probation Officer.

On the voter registration application, a copy of which was obtained by the Gazette, Alamo marked the box saying “No” for the question, “Have you ever pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to, or found guilty of a felony without your sentence having been discharged or pardoned?”

Alamo, who listed his date of birth as Sept. 20, 1934, was sentenced to six years in federal prison in September 1994 after he was convicted in U.S. District Court in Memphis, Tenn., of willful failure to file an income tax return and of knowingly filing a false return. He was fined $210,000 and ordered to remain on probation for a year after his release.

He ended his federal sentence in the Texarkana, Texas, Federal Correctional Institution and was released in December 1998.

Alamo was contacted Friday by Ann Nicholas, Miller County clerk and voter registrar, who questioned him about incorrectly marking the voter registration application.

The voting guidebook, “Pocket Guide to Voting in the Natural State,” indicates a convicted felon may regain the right to vote after obtaining a pardon from the governor or after discharging a sentence. Documentation must be provided to the county clerk.

In a telephone interview Wednesday, Alamo said, “I don’t care if I vote. The Bible says not to entangle myself with the affairs of the world. We have another world coming up—the kingdom of heaven.”

“I don’t have much respect for politicians. So many of them are not right,” Alamo said. “I’m not saying the people here are wrong. I just wanted to find out primarily if I could vote.

“If they don’t want me to vote, I don’t care. It just doesn’t matter to me,” he said.

In: 2000-2007

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