Voting Rights Restoration Efforts in Kentucky
Current Felony Disenfranchisement Law
In Kentucky, individuals are permanently disenfranchised after a felony conviction, unless the government approves individual rights restoration.
The Kentucky Constitution disenfranchises people with felony convictions for life. As part of a statewide effort to repeal permanent felony disenfranchisement, the Brennan Center has researched and drafted language to amend the constitution to restore the right to vote upon completion of sentence.
2010. In January 2010, H.B.70 was introduced. Similar to the bills, introduced in 2010, this bill seeks to restore voting right to individuals convicted of certain criminal convictions. The bill passed the house in mid-February and is now in the Senate. Similar to 2009, American Probabation and Parole Association Executive Director, Carl Wicklund wrote letters to Senators Tom Jensen and Robert Stivers urging them to support the legislation.
2009. In January 2009, S.B 126 and H.B 196 were introduced. These bills would place before the voters a constitutional amendment to restore voting rights to individuals with certain criminal convictions. Mr. Wicklund wrote letters to the members of the Kentucky Senate and to Senator Kelly, Senate Majority Floor Leader, urging them to support the legislation. Unfortunately, the bill was not successful in the legislature.
2008. In November 2008, the Kentucky Advisory Committee to the US Commission of Civil Rights met to discuss a project to examine voting rights for people with felony convictions. Religious organizations, law enforcement agencies, advocacy groups and people with past felony convictions all submitted comments in support of a constitutional change. Allies include Carl Wicklund and Father Patrick Delahanty, Interim Director of the Kentucky Catholic Conference.