LWV releases report: KY keeps over 300,000 former felons from voting

(photo by hafakot via Shutterstock)

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 KentuckyA 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