Voting Rights Victory in Florida Energizes Kentuckians

Attica Scott RallyAmong a lot of other state and national election results earlier this month, voters in Florida passed an amendment to automatically restore voting rights to 1.4 million citizens with felonies in their past.  An incredible 64 percent of Florida voters voted in for the change.

The amendment restores the right to vote for people with felonies in their past, except people convicted of a handful of the most serious crimes, once they have served their time (including probation and parole).

Florida was previously one of just 4 states in the US (along with Kentucky, Iowa, and Virginia) whose constitutions permanently take voting rights away from all people with felonies in their past unless they’re able to take extraordinary measures to have their voting rights restored individual through a governor’s pardon. 

With the victory in Florida and the Governor of Virginia’s pledge to use his pardoning power to restore all voting rights to people as they complete their sentences, only Kentucky and Iowa are left with the most extreme felony disenfranchisement practices in the US and in the world. 

This big win has energized Kentuckians around restoration of voting rights and several organizations including KFTC are prioritizing our long-running campaign to restore voting rights to people with felonies in their past after they have served their debt to society. 

Several legislators have declared their intent to file bills to address this in the 2019 legislative session.  To pass restoration of voting rights in Kentucky, we would need to pass with a 60% supermajority in the House and Senate, and then it would need to be ratified by a vote of the people like in Florida. 

KFTC is laying the groundwork for an eventual win on this issue including telling stories of people directly impacted by this work, lobbying in Frankfort, collecting lists of supporters through petitioning, and developing leaders for this fight.

To get involved in this campaign, please reach out to your local chapter organizer or Alicia Hurl (Alicia@kftc.org)  or Dave Newton (Dave@kftc.org)



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