The Kentucky House of Representatives is once again acting favorably on a proposal (HB 70) by Rep. Jesse Crenshaw, D-Lexington, to amend the state constitution to automatically restore voting rights to non-violent felons who have paid their assigned debt to society. Remarkably, each time in recent years this measure has passed out of the House it has stopped dead in the Senate. This is a good year to change that pattern. We are, after all, witnessing one of the great political processes as the presidential campaign unfolds before our very eyes. There is a lot of debate these days about the role of government in our lives, but does anyone really think it should be government’s task to prevent people from voting?
Kentucky is one of only a handful of states in which a felony conviction carries with it a lifetime loss of voting rights. Under our constitution, it’s up to the governor to restore that right to people who have served their time. With most governors it’s fairly routine to restore rights to people who ask after they’ve finished their time with the Department of Corrections. But not always.
Former Governor Ernie Fletcher, for example, required people to write an essay and get three letters of recommendation before he’d even consider restoring an individual’s voting rights.
Full Article: Return voting rights to ex-felons | Editorial | Kentucky.com.