The Kentucky League of Women Voters released an updated report on felon voting rights in Kentucky, and the numbers continue to get worse.
- Kentucky is one of only three states that bans former felons from voting, even after they have completed their sentence.
- Kentucky leads the nation in disenfranchisement of African-Americans.
- Over 300,000 Kentuckians are currently disenfranchised, an increase of 67% from 2006.
- One of every 11 adults in Kentucky is ineligible to vote due to a previous felony conviction.
And, from the press release:
According to a December 2018 survey, a majority of Kentuckians, across political affiliation, gender and all ages, support the automatic restoration of voting rights for persons who complete their felony sentence. Overall support is 2-1 with 66 percent in favor and 32 percent opposed.
The League has a set of policy proposals to deal with this issue:
- Place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to restore voting rights to felons once sentencing has been fully completed
- Increase public education about the restoration process and available resources
- Increase assistance to individuals eligible to have their voting rights restored
- Release voting restoration application and approval figures annually
- Comply with the Kentucky Constitution and make public a statement of the reasons for the governor’s decisions on applications for reinstatement of voting rights
- Reduce the $500 application fee for expungement of felony records
- Expand felony expungement
The report, Felony Disenfranchisement in the Commonwealth of Kentucky: A Report of the League of Women Voters of Kentucky, January 2019 along with the 2006, 2013 and 2017 reports and the December 2018 Survey Report are available at lwvky.org/about/publications/.
You can read the entire press release here: LWV Press Release 2019-01-29