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State Capitol

Proposal To Restore Voting Rights One Issue As Lawmakers Return To Frankfort

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Former State Public Advocate Ed Monahan is optimistic about Kentucky general assembly approval of expanding voting rights to felons who complete their sentences. 

Monahan is working with the Kentucky League of Women Voters on the issue.  The longtime legal aid lawyer said the benefits of the bill cross party lines. “The polling in Kentucky is clear that people across all demographics and party registration by a good margin believe that people, once they’ve paid their debt to society, and completed their sentence, should have their voting rights restored,” said Monahan. 

Monahan said close to 200,000 Kentuckians with felony records are prohibited from voting.  He noted Governor Beshear’s executive order, soon after coming into office, pertained to 178,000 people.  Monahan added individuals who committed certain crimes were excluded.   

Monahan said, if passed by the legislature, the question would go before Kentucky voters as a constitutional amendment.  The bill, sponsored by Republican Jason Nemes of Louisville, would have no waiting period and no exclusions related to offenses.  If approved, the measure could make the ballot in November, 2022. 

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