Editorials: Presidential Election Year? Not For Millions of Ex-Felons | Yosha Gunasekera/Huffington Post
Incoming Kentucky Governor, Matt Bevin, set to work quickly. Through a series of executive orders, Bevin ensured that thousands of poor and minority individuals would not vote this year or potentially ever. Bevin reversed the work of his predecessor, former Governor Steven L. Beshear, who sought to ensure that Kentucky would no longer be one of only three states to permanently ban felons from voting. Bevin’s executive orders continue the long and repressive system of disenfranchising and alienating ex-felons. Almost six million Americans will not have the opportunity to exercise their democratic right to vote because they have been convicted of a felony. Ex-felons are released back into society with the expectation that they will lead full, law-abiding lives. However, denying felons fundamental freedoms that all other Americans enjoy make them second-class citizens. Out of the six million felons who have lost the right to vote, two-thirds have already completed their prison time. However, the punishment continues.