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Mountain Talk: Restoration of Voting Rights for Former Felons

Mountain Talk: Restoration of Voting Rights for Former Felons

Mountain Talk 3-28-12

In this edition of Mountain Talk, hosts Kristi Kendell and Elizabeth Sanders talk with substance abuse counselor Jim Recktenwald and callers on House Bill 70, currently before the Kentucky Legislature.  If passed, the bill would allow Kentucky voters to decide in November whether to grant automatic restoration of voting right to most former felons once they have served their sentence.

In most states, if a person is convicted of a crime, after they serve their time their voting rights are automatically restored.  But not in Kentucky. Kentucky is one of the four most difficult states in the nation for a person with a felony conviction to get their voting rights back.  Unless they go through the lengthy process of petitioning to receive an individual executive pardon from the governor, they are barred from voting for life.  Because of this, it is estimated that there are more than 126,000 Kentuckians who have served their sentences, yet are permanently disenfranchised.

For more information on the status of the bill click here.

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