Kentucky Voting Rights Bill | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Kentucky Voting Rights Bill

We believe that all Kentucky citizens should vote and that our Democracy is stronger when we hear from everyone. 

In most states, after people serve their time, they get their voting rights back automatically.

In Kentucky, even a class D felony is enough to lose someone their voting rights forever unless they cannavagate a complicated process to get a pardon from the Governor, or go through an expensive process of having their record expunged for a limited number of Class D felons.

Kentucky is one of the two most difficult states for someone to get their voting rights back. Only Iowa has as difficult a process.

An estimated 312,000 Kentuckians (including more than 240,000 who have completed their sentences) can’t vote because of this barrier – disproportionately from low-income communities. This takes away tremendous voting power from these communities.

We Believe

We believe that after someone has served their time, they should be given back their right to vote – because that’s the fair thing to do and because it makes Kentucky’s Democracy stronger. And it’s only fair that people who work, pay taxes, have kids in public schools and contribute in other important ways be allowed representation in our government.

Restoring voting rights even contributes to crime prevention.  People with felonies in their past who vote are statistically half as likely to recidivate (commit future crimes) than those who don’t vote. When you think about it, it makes sense. When someone feels like part of a community, they’re less likely to act out against that community.

Changing Kentucky's Constitution

A change is needed in Section 145 of the Kentucky Constitution to correct this problem.  This would start out as a bill passed by legislators in the General Assembly which would then allow Kentucky voters to decide whether to grant automatic restoration of voting rights to people once they have paid their debt to society.

Download a copy of our voting rights amendment fact sheet.

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