Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Kentucky: Voting Rights Legislation

House Bill 70 (under consideration) would automatically restore the voting rights of felons - without executive clemency - once they've served their sentences and are no longer on probation or parole. If passed, the bill would restore rights to an estimated 128,000 felons in the State of Kentucky. An amendment to the state constitution, would also have to be approved by voters. Some categories of felons, however, would not automatically have voting rights restored. These would include: those considered "insane," those convicted of treason or bribery during an election, some murder offenses and some crimes involving deviate sexual activity. A House Rules Committee increased the list of exceptions to include those convicted of first-degree manslaughter, first-degree promoting of prostitution or second-degree trafficking in prostitution, trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school, or manufacturing methamphetamine. An additional amendment under consideration would also require felons to complete a certified civics-review course. See story here.

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