U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said Friday that he prefers a Kentucky constitutional amendment that would restore the voting rights of convicted felons without strings attached, rather than one backed by Senate Republicans that puts numerous restrictions them. “The bill in the House, which I support, would let you, once you served your time for a nonviolent felony, would let you get your voting rights back. I support that,” Paul, R-Ky., said while attending a Jefferson County Republican Party fundraising event that was focused on broadening the party’s appeal. But Paul said he still hopes some agreement between the House and Senate is in the offing, and that a bill can be passed by the end of the 2014 session of the General Assembly.
The issue has become controversial in the last few days since Paul went before the Senate’s State and Local Government Committee to testify in favor of House Bill 70.
As drafted, that bill would been a step toward restoring the voting rights for felons automatically rather than them having to request their rights from the governor, as the state Constitution now requires.