For Chris Page of Bowling Green, having his voting rights restored after serving prison time for a felony conviction was a way of reclaiming visibility and a voice in the electoral process. “I think it’s significant for me because it makes you feel like you’re part of the American dream,” he said. While many people think of the American dream as a home and a white picket fence, Page said that, for him, voting is part of that picture. Page said he will vote for the first time in November since his incarceration. He is trying to learn about candidates who will be on the ballot to prepare himself. “It’s kind of going to be a welcome-home party as far as a personal journey of mine,” he said.
Legislation that would let voters decide to make it easier for convicted felons to have their voting rights restored has been pre-filed for consideration in the 2015 legislative session.
Several bills with similar structure would place a constitutional amendment on the ballot letting voters decide if they want to allow felons to automatically regain the right to vote after the end of their sentence, parole and probation, with the exception of some offenses. Those exceptions include intentional killing or sexual offenses.