During their Republican primary coverage last night, CNN cameras spotted something unusual in Alabama: prison inmates waiting in the wings to help transport voters' ballots from a truck into a building where elections staff was waiting.


"This is something that they've done for years, I'm told," CNN reporter Dana Bash told anchor Wolf Blitzer.

The prisoners were from a local jail and had not committed violent crimes. Part of their sentences was to perform services on behalf of the state.

Alabama bars felons from casting ballots, but certain convicts may have their voting rights restored if the state's Pardons Unit sees fit. Offenders such as murderers, child pornographers, traitors or those who've been convicted of producing obscene matter are forever banned from voting.

This video was broadcast by CNN on Tuesday, March 13, 2012, as snipped by Talking Points Memo.