Felon voting rights — better, but not enough. Constitutional amendment needed.

Via a press release from LWV-KY

The League of Women Voters of KY has released their annual report on the loss of voting rights for felons in Kentucky, and while it shows improvement from previous years, Kentucky is still an outlier state on this issue.

  • Out of all 50 states, only thre ban citizens who have completed their sentence from voting. Kentucky is still one of those three.
  • In spite of the governor’s executive order in 2019 enabling some felons to regain the right to vote, almost 200,000 Kentuckians remain disenfranchised due to felony convictions.
  • Kentucky has the fourth-highest number of citizens who remain disenfranchised.
  • Out of all Black persons in the state, over 15% cannot vote due to felony disenfranchisement.
  • It will require a constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights to felons once they have completed their sentence. And, Kentuckians support such an amendment by a 2-to-1 margin.

There is a bill currently in the legislature, HB 232, that would amend Section 145 of the Kentucky Constitution to automatically restore the voting rights of persons convicted of certain felonies upon completion of their imprisonment, probation, or parole. It is sponsored by Rep. Jason Nemes and co-sponsored by Reps. Pamela Stevenson and William Lawrence. The League supports passing this bill without amendments.

The entire report is available at the LWV-KY site.


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