Voting is a right, not a privilege. Everyone has made mistakes, and no person should be defined by the worst parts of their past. It's time for Kentucky to permanently restore voting rights to people with felony convictions in their past.
What would it do?
This legislation would give Kentucky voters the opportunity to amend the state's Constitution and automatically restore voting rights to people with past felony convictions who have completed their entire sentence, probation, and parole. It would not restore rights to people convicted of election fraud, bribery related to an election, or treason.
Governor Beshear restored voting rights to roughly 175,000 Kentuckians with some past felony convictions by executive order in 2019. This was a step in the right direction, but left nearly 65,000 people behind and could be easily undone by a future governor.
Mass incarceration and blocking people with past felonies from voting have worked in tandem to deny African-Americans a say in the democratic process. Before Governor Beshear's order, Kentucky was one of only two states that permanently barred people with past felony convictions from voting. This disenfranchised approximately 9% of otherwise eligible voters and nearly 25% of African-Americans.
Do you have a past felony conviction? Learn more about the governor's executive order, see if your rights were restored, and register to vote here.