Voting Rights News

Poll: Kentuckians support restoring felon voting rights

February 25, 2013 at 06:12pm

Bluegrass Poll | Kentucky supports restoring felon voting rights

From The Courier Journal

A majority of Kentucky voters say they favor amending the state constitution to allow convicted felons to regain their right to vote once they serve their full sentences.

A poll of 616 registered voters taken Feb. 19-21 by SurveyUSA for The Courier-Journal found that 51 percent favored such an amendment, while 38 percent opposed it. The poll question had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Many Kentuckians appear to share the view of Thomas Vance, 62, a disabled retired Air Force master sergeant who lives in Alexandria. In a follow-up interview, Vance said denying felons the vote after they serve their sentence is “piling on.”

“It is just not fair,” he said. “If I did my time, that should be the end of it.”

Bluegrass Poll | Kentucky supports restoring felon voting rights

February 25, 2013
Louisville Courier Journal

A majority of Kentucky voters say they favor amending the state constitution to allow convicted felons to regain their right to vote once they serve their full sentences.

Charging ahead on Voting Rights in the Senate

February 21, 2013 at 06:46pm

gIMG_0376Yesterday, our Voting Rights bill (HB 70) made it through the House to the Senate. 

Today, twenty KFTC members and allies were there in Frankfort to talk lobby senators, thank represenatives, and make our voices heard. 

It was a productive lobby day in which we met with 22 legislators, left personal notes and information for many dozens more, scheduled meetings with 13 more for days to come, and were generally a visible prescence in Frankfort. 

Voting Rights passes House, 75 -25. On to the Senate!

February 20, 2013 at 06:19pm

House Bill 70, our bill to restore voting rights to former felons who have served their debt to society, has just passed a vote on the House floor 75 to 25.

Please thank your representative if they voted yes (see how they voted). 

That's an overwhelming majority, but some of the new legislators just elected last year tended to vote no, perhaps proving that this is an educational issue and it takes a while to get through to people about it. 

Representative David Floyd (R) spoke on the House floor in favor of voting rights, asking "Are felons forever comdemned or can they be restored? ... I think if you've served your debt to society, you've served your debt to society. I want the people of Kentucky to vote on this and that's what HB 70 does."

Merlene Davis: Advocates for felons' voting rights hope …

February 18, 2013
Lexington Herald-Leader

Changes in the Kentucky Senate offer hope that House Bill 70 might get fair consideration this year.

Voting Rights Floor Vote Soon. Call in!

February 19, 2013 at 06:00pm

gIMG_0551Last week, HB 70, our bill to restore voting rights to former felons who have served their debt to society, passed a vote in House Committee 6 to 1

Now it will come up for a vote on the House Floor any day now and we want to express our support of the bill to legislators loud and clear.

Please take two minutes and call the legislative message line, 1-800-372-7181, leaving a message for your own representative plus "House Leadership."
A good, simple message is "please support HB 70."

The message line is open until 11pm, so please call as soon as you can.

Also, please plan on joining us on March 6th for our big Voting Rights Lobby Day and Rally.

HB 70 Passes Committee!

February 12, 2013 at 04:06pm

gIMG_0146This morning, House Bill 70, our bill to restore voting rights to former felons  who have served their debt to society, passed out of the House Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee with 6 yes votes, 1 no and 2 abstentions.

Rep Jesse Crenshaw, Terry Nayden (LWV), Raoul Cunninham (NAACP), and Fr. Pat Delahanty (Catholic Conference) gave testimony in support of the bill.

The League of Women Voters released a revision of their study of felony disenfranchisement in Kentucky today and presented it to the committee. 

First day back lobbying in Frankfort was a big hit

February 8, 2013 at 02:42pm

gIMG_0114On Wednesday, KFTC members gathered in Frankfort for our first regular lobby day of the General Assembly, kickstarting our 2013 grassroots lobbying for legislation to restore voting rights toformer felons who have served their debt to society. 

This was the first time lobbying for several of us, and a key space to learn how.

In all, we talked to 19 legislators, several of which were new themselves, having just been elected the previous November. 

Two of our citizen lobbyists were former felons themselves, Mark Romines of Louisville and Teddi Smith Robillard of Lexington.  Telling their stories to legislators face-to-face and connecting with them was a really key part of the day.

Hazard meeting with State Senator Brandon Smith

February 4, 2013 at 11:20pm

January 2013 meeting with Sen. Brandon SmithJust days before traveling back to Frankfort for the two upcoming months of General Assembly, new Senate Majority Whip Brandon Smith met up with KFTC members at the Perry County Library.   This was one of several at-home meetings KFTC members organized this past week to open up communication during this General Assembly as well as to build support for the Clean Energy Opportunity Act.  Members from Perry County, Harlan County, and Letcher County met with Sen. Smith about this legislative priority as well as the Kentucky Voting Rights Amendment (HB 70) and other local issues. 

Voting Rights Meeting and Action!

February 4, 2013 at 06:03pm

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 This weekend, we had a powerful statewide meeting in Louisville with allies to plan our campaign to restore voting rights to former felons who have served their debt to society.

We had forty participants from a wide range of groups including Jobs with Justice, NAACP, the Kentucky Council of Churches, Stepping to a New Beat, and the UAW along with a lot of KFTCmembers.  Many of the participants were former felons themselves. 

We used a lot of the time to let people in the room have a chance to connect, root themselves in why they think restoring voting rights is important, and review the history of ourcampaign and the current landscape. 

But after that, we focused a lot on actions to restore voting rights to former felons and we're sharing those out to the broader public here: