Wednesday, March 5, 2008
About 129,000 Kentuckians cannot vote because of felony convictions. But, those who complete their sentences will be able to have their voting rights restored more easily under changes to the pardon process announced by Gov. Steve Beshear (D). Beshear said he will drop requirements for an essay and three character references - requirements created by the previous Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R). There will also be a revocation of a $2 fee because Beshear says, "This disenfranchisement makes no sense." Corrections officials will help interested felons with pardon applications before their release from prison or jail, and Beshear's office will process more than 1,500 applications left behind by Fletcher, plus 176 new applications filed since January 1. Story here.