Can a Felon Vote in Kentucky?

Officially called as the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the state of Kentucky is at the southeastern region of the United States of America. Kentucky is one of the only four states established as a Commonwealth, along with Pennsylvania, Virginia and Massachusetts.

As of 2015, there were 11,003 male offenders in the Kentucky Department of Corrections while there were 890 female offenders. The Kentucky Department of Corrections has 10 departments namely; Commissioner’s Office, Office of Adult Institutions, Support Services, Division of Corrections Training, Local Facilities (Jails), Internal Affairs, Parole Board, Adult Institutions (Prisons), Probation and Parole and Correctional Industries.

All the convicted individuals in Kentucky are no longer eligible to vote, run and hold public office. Most pro-felon voting advocates would argue that felon disenfranchisement is contrary to the eighth amendment as an excessive sanction.

Can felons vote in Kentucky?

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, convicts in Kentucky cannot exercise their right to vote or their right to hold public office.

It is only through the pardon given by the Governor of Kentucky can a convicted individual have his or her rights restored.

Most pro-felon voting advocates have been rallying for the change of such. One out of five individuals is unable to exercise their political and civil rights due to this prohibition.

In recent developments, an Executive Order was passed allowing individuals convicted of certain offenses to have their civil rights restored upon final discharge and completion of service sentence.

How can felons restore their voting rights in Kentucky?

To be eligible for civil rights restoration, one must have completed his service sentence or must have received final discharge. Those convicted individuals who have complied with such requirements may follow the steps below:

  1. Individual must make sure that he no longer owes any restitution fees. He or she must also make sure that he is no longer under felony indictment.
  2. If the individual is convicted in an out-of-state or federal court, he or she must give a copy of the judgment of final sentence, verification of restitution and verification of sentence expiration or final discharge.
  3. He or she must also complete the application form downloadable at the Kentucky Department of Correction website.
  4. Upon completion, the application form must be sent at the Department of Corrections Division of Probation and Parole.

 

Due to recent legislations, felons in Kentucky now have a way to restore their right to voting. The felon must only make sure that he or she has completed his or her service sentence and has paid his dues. After such, the former felon can again apply to vote again.

Sources

http://corrections.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx

http://corrections.ky.gov/communityinfo/Documents/Civil%20Rights/Civil%20Rights%20Application%20Rev%2011-25-2015.pdf

http://ccresourcecenter.org/state-restoration-profiles/kentucky-restoration-of-rights-pardon-expungement-sealing/

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