IMPORTANT TO KNOW:
»» Kentucky’s Constitution denies the vote to anyone with a felony conviction but allows the governor to restore that right to individuals (not legal as a BLANKET pardon for groups).
»» Gov. Beshear’s order does not require former felons to complete payment of fines or other legal costs before gaining the right to vote, an issue that has snarled implementation of a 2018 ballot initiative that ordered the restoration of voting rights in Florida.
»» In remarks at the State Capitol, Mr. Beshear urged the Legislature to remove that ban through an amendment, but said that he would seek to make the restoration process as automatic as possible until that occurred. (Ref)
»» Only the Kentucky voter has the authority to amend our constitution.
The Courier-Journal stated on December 12, 2019 that the voting rights of more than 140,000 felons with completed sentences were restored by Gov. Beshear. Readers were simultaneously reminded about Bevin’s pardons of criminals through in-article links to stories.
Then, on March 4, 2020, the C-J reported about a state website that allows 152,000 Ky. felons to see if their voting rights have been restored. There is a big difference between 140,000 and 152,000.
Then on April 2, 2020 the C-J told us in a story headline that Gov. Beshear would release 186 inmates, “as coronavirus cases rapidly increase with 700 more coming soon.” But in the article the specific number was 743. “It's likely to be the first of at least two waves of early releases, with the second involving 743 inmates, state officials said.”
Then on April 28, 2020, the C-J announced that Gov. Beshear commuted the sentences of an additional 352 state inmates. They were near the end of sentences for nonviolent, nonsexual felonies.
Gov. Bevin had intended to ask Kentuckians to vote on a ballot measure as to whether or not felon voting rights should be restored. It would be the people’s decision.
An attorney friend has noted: I always thought that, if a person was convicted of a felony, they had shown poor judgment and should lose the right to vote. If they lived a good life for a period of time after serving their time, they could petition for a restoration of their voting rights, but I don't think it should be automatic. I also am not crazy about automatic expungement of records. It is one thing to give a person a second chance, but it is up to the person to show they are worthy of it, and potential employers should not be deceived.
Whatever your sincerely held belief on the matter, the number of felons who can vote this year is increasing as the pandemic evolves. How will this affect the 2020 Elections?
The “niche” is a marketing dream. With a niche, a business can so easily target numerous individuals to attract their interest and to educate them. To gain their loyalty. To—ask for their vote? But, who would do this? Who has the felons’ contact information?
Some races will be very close. For example, in the 2018 General Election, in District 96, Kathy Hinkle (D) won over incumbent representative Jill York (R) by 5 votes. In District 91, for that election, Cluster Howard (D) beat incumbent representative Toby Herald (R) by 7 votes. The image from Ballotpedia.com shows a race that was won by A SINGLE VOTE. Many other races in 2018 were extremely close, and they will be again in 2020.
Some (many?) citizens may not bother to vote in the Primary because of the “pandemic” process that requires more effort than ever before.
See this article for the new process.
Yes, pro-lifers currently hold a majority in the Kentucky House and Senate, but DON’T EVER IMAGINE that cannot change.