KFTC Blog | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth


Voting Rights Coalition gathers to set the stage for 2020

Posted by: KFTC Staff on January 13, 2020

Voting Rights Coalition Meeting 1/13/19

Over 40 people from 22 organizations gathered yesterday in Frankfort to celebrate our recent victories around voting rights, come to a shared understanding of Beshear’s executive order, to plan our work in the General Assembly to pass a robust constitutional amendment, and to start to think about how we can work together to register the estimated 140,000 Kentuckians who just regained the right to vote.

Our legislative focus between now and April 15 will by on HB 6, Charles Booker’s bill to restore voting rights to all Kentuckians after they’ve served their time.  This bill is still needed because it doesn’t have the same exclusions as Beshear’s Executive order and it would be permanent. 

To make a difference in this campaign in just a few minutes, you can call the Legislative Message Line (800-372-7181) and leave a message for your senator and representative, plus House and Senate Leadership to say that you “support HB 6.”

You can also join us in Frankfort to talk to legislators with us.  We’ll be there every Tuesday meeting at 9am and we talk to legislators in groups, mixing experienced grassroots lobbyists with people who have never done this before.  You can sign up here! 
Voting Rights Coalition Meeting 1/13/19
We also set an ambitious goal of bringing in 10,000 signatures on our Voting Rights petition by the Primary Election on May 19.  If you’d like, you can sign the petition online, share it with friends, and even print out a copies of the petition to circulate in your community.

2020 Voting Rights Calendar

  • January 7 to April 15 Legislative session in Frankfort.  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days to reach legislators between committee meetings between 8am and 2pm.  At 2pm, they go into session and are unreachable. 
  • Tuesdays: Lobby with KFTC meeting up at 9am Capitol Annex Cafeteria 702 Capital Ave, Frankfort, KY.  Goes until 2pm.
  • January 20: Martin Luther King Jr. Day – the General Assembly does not meet.  MLK events might be an excellent opportunity to circulate the petition.
  • January 28: Focus lobby day on Voting Rights.  9am Capitol Annex Cafeteria 702 Capital Ave, Frankfort, KY.  Goes until 2pm.
  • January 28: Kentucky Council of Churches Prayer Day of Action on Voting Rights.  9:30am to 10:30am program in Room 131 of the Capitol Annex, 702 Capital Ave, Frankfort, KY.
  • January 28: Women’s Network Forum on Criminal Justice.  Debbie Graner will speak on Voting Rights.  Frankfort, Jan. 28, 6-8 pm, at KSU
  • April 2-13: Legislative recess, or days set aside for the governor to veto any bills that passed
  • April 14-15: Final legislative days (Sine Die)
  • April, 20: Primary Election Voter Registration Deadline (Note that 17-year olds who will be 18 on or by Nov 3 can register by this date and vote in the primary as 17 year olds.)
  • May 19: Primary Election Day (Polls open 6am to 6pm)
  • July 24-27: KFTC Annual Meetings (with Voting Rights workshop)
  • August 1: Fancy Farm
  • September 4-6: Roots and Heritage Festival
  • October 5: General Election Voter Registration Deadline (Note that 17-year olds who will be 18 on or by Nov 3 can register by this date and vote in the general election)
  • November 3: General Election (Polls open 6am to 6pm)
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How do I know if Beshear's executive order restored my right to vote?

Posted by: KFTC Staff on January 13, 2020

Our allies at the Camaign Legal Center put together a great tool to help people figure out if Steve Beshear's Executive Orderapplies to them or not. www.Restoreyourvote.org

It asks a series of questions to determine if someone can register to vote, and if so, connects you with an online voter registration portal. For people excluded from the executive order but who have served their time, there's still the option of requesting voting rights through an individual partial pardon from the Governor.

Exclusions in the executive order are:

You can run for office (and win) - Filing deadline is Friday Jan 10th

Posted by: KFTC Staff on January 7, 2020

IMG_1457We don't always get the candidates we want or deserve.  Sometimes bad politicians go unopposed on election day or we're forced to choose between the "lesser of two evils."  We do the best we can with the candidates we have, keeping our eyes on our vision and longterm meaningful political change, but our voter work sure is more fun and more impactful with great candidates. 

We are Kentuckians.  We are our own best chance for change.  Maybe we're the candidates we've been waiting for.  Maybe you know and respect someone who would run for office if you encouraged them to.  Maybe it's time that you run for office yourself.

Kentucky Political Party Change Deadline - Dec 31

Posted by: KFTC Staff on December 23, 2019

In 2020, all state representative seats and half of our state senate seats are up for lection in addition to all US house of representative seats and one US Senate seat (currently held by Mitch McConnell)

If you're already registered in Kentucky, Monday Dec 31 is the last day top "lock in" your political party choice for purposes of voting in May primary elections for those races or for purposes of becoming a candidate in one of those races.

Statement from the Kentucky Voting Rights Coalition on the victory and path ahead

Posted by: Kentucky Voting Rights Coalition on December 23, 2019

On December 12, Governor Andy Beshear helped Kentucky take a historic step forward. With the twirl of a pen, 140,000 previously disenfranchised members of our commonwealth were re-empowered with the right to vote. Years of conversations, meetings, phone calls, and work by people with felonies in their past created the grassroots support needed to bring us to this moment.

Over a hundred of us attended and cheered as the governor signed the order and stated his support for a constitutional amendment to restore voting rights. There is much to be lauded about this act, including the explicit exclusion of any requirement that fines and fees be paid to qualify for restoration. 140,000 is truly a huge number, and a step towards helping disenfranchised people regain a sense of normalcy within society.

This is what a healthy democracy is about – allowing people who have a stake in the decisions made by elected officials to have a voice in deciding who those officials are. It’s fundamental to who we are as a state and a nation.

We, the Kentucky Voter Rights Restoration Coalition, are a network of 30+ similarly minded community groups working to ensure that every person who is denied the right to vote has that right restored. We believe that once a person has served their time, they have the right to re-engage with society.

Big Voting Rights Win - Executive Action

Posted by: KFTC Staff on December 17, 2019

Governor Andy Beshear's Executive Action of Voting Rights SigningOn Thursday, Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order to restore voting rights for an estimated 140,000 people with felonies in their past.  It’s an overwhelming and powerful victory 15 years in the making that has the potential to deepen our Democracy in Kentucky.  And with a truer Democracy, so much is possible.

Debbie's Reflections on Today's Inauguration

Posted by: Debbie Graner on December 10, 2019

2.13.19_Voting_Rights_Rally-0456Today, I stood in the cold for hours at Andy Beshear’s inauguration because I believe in democracy, and I’m really proud of his win and what it means for the future of Kentucky. I worked hard with Kentuckians For The Commonwealth to get him elected, making phone calls and talking to people on their doorstep. But I couldn't vote for him.

A reflection of my first two southern Kentucky chapter meetings

Posted by: Shirlisa Arnold on December 5, 2019

I wasn't sure what to expect from my first SOKY chapter meeting.

KFTC receives many disputed records from open records case with Public Service Commission

Posted by: KFTC Staff on December 4, 2019

When anti-rooftop solar bill SB 100 passed the state legislature in 2019, members of the KFTC New Energy and Transition Committee feared that the Kentucky Public Service Commission might

Reflections from the first Empower Kentucky Leadership Network retreat

Posted by: Maria Truitt on November 25, 2019

To be in a room filled with so much talent and passion. Openness to have difficult conversations, and brilliance in finding solutions to heavy issues.

Y'all Fall for Justice!

Posted by: Joe Gallenstein on November 14, 2019

This Saturday the Rolling Bluegrass chapter invites you to join them in celebration of a momentous year, and to help us prepare for the coming year!


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