November 24, 2015 Governor Steve Beshear signed an executive order that will automatically restore the right to vote and hold public office for felons who have completed their sentences, excluding those who were convicted of violent or sex crimes, bribery or treason.
The ACLU-KY applauds Governor Beshear for taking an important step toward breaking down barriers to ballot boxes in Kentucky. We know the commonwealth’s disenfranchisement policies, some of the harshest in the country, have negatively impacted families and communities, especially those of color, by reducing their collective political voice.
Today’s policy changes are in line with important Kentucky values of fairness and justice, and will strengthen communities across the commonwealth. Individuals who vote generally help to make their communities safer and more vibrant. Studies have shown that individuals who vote are more likely to give to charity, volunteer, attend school board meetings, serve on juries and are more actively involved in their communities.
How to Get Your Voting Rights Restored
According to the governor’s office: Individuals who have already left the correctional system may pick up a restoration of rights form at any Probation and Parole office, or by contacting the Department of Corrections (DOC) at 502-782-2248 or online, and return it to the address listed. DOC will verify whether they meet the criteria set out in the executive order. Offenders who do will have their voting rights restored “without undue delay” and receive a certificate of Restoration of Civil Rights in the mail.