felon voting rights

WFPL news

For many in the Ohio Valley, voting is a choice, a right they are free to exercise if they want to. But for Jackie McGranahan and the more than 175,000 other formerly disenfranchised Kentuckians, this primary election is special. It’s her first chance to vote since 2008. 

She won't be going to a voting booth. Elections are a bit different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and most voting in Kentucky is happening by mail. But even though she couldn’t go to the polls with her friends or be handed her ‘I Voted’ sticker, that didn’t stop McGranahan from savoring the moment of voting.

“I filled out the absentee ballot. I signed my name and I waited for my postman to come so I could hand it to him directly from my porch to know that my vote will be counted, that I have a voice,” McGranahan said.

WKU Public Radio

A bill to restore voting rights to some people with felony convictions has taken a step forward in the Kentucky legislature after being expanded to restore other civil rights.

Kentucky is one of two states in the nation that permanently bars people from voting once they are convicted of a felony unless they receive a pardon from the governor.

The proposed constitutional amendment would restore voting rights once an individual completes their sentence for a felony conviction, as long as the crime doesn’t involve election fraud, bribery or sex.

Rep. Jason Nemes, a Republican from Louisville, said that restoring civil rights once people have completed their punishments is an “unqualified good.”