From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh:
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is making it easier to win restoration of voting rights for convicted felons who have served their sentences.
Beshear says felons who have fulfilled the requirements of their sentences will no longer have to pay a fee, write an essay or secure three recommendations to restore their voting rights.
But Beshear says the new policy contains a couple of key protections.
“It retains a safety valve that confirms that inmates have fulfilled all their sentences requirements and paid all of the restitution before they get to vote again,” Beshear said. “And secondly it gives prosecutors a chance to object when circumstances merit a second look.”
Beshear’s actions drew praise from a bipartisan group of lawmakers, the League of Women Voters and Republican Secretary of State Trey Grayson.
The right to vote is currently being denied to 129,000 Kentucky adults who have been in trouble with the law, including one in four African-Americans.