Convicted felons in Kentucky are not guaranteed to get their voting rights back once they’ve come off parole or probation. A bill (HB70) proposing a constitutional amendment to restore that right to most ex-felons is now before the state Senate. It’s an idea the House has approved six straight years, but the bill has always died in the Senate. According to former felon Damon Horton, that’s keeping more than a quarter-million Kentuckians from having the chance to vote.
“It’s unacceptable. People pay their debt to society, and to take their voice away from them for the rest of their lives is absurd,” Horton asserted. “It doesn’t make any sense.”
Horton spent two and a half years behind bars on a felony drug conviction. He got out of prison in 2006 and is now an ordained minister in Lexington. Last August, Horton petitioned the state governor to have his voting rights restored. The request was granted in January. Horton said he was “ecstatic.”
“It’s like I was given my voice back again, you know,” he said. “I’ve been given a second chance now.”
Full Article: Push to Restore Voting Rights in Kentucky.