New Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear Gives Nonviolent Felons the Right to Vote, Run for Public Office

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New Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear isn’t wasting time enacting liberal agendas, having signed an executive order Thursday restoring the right to vote and the right to run for public office to hundreds of thousands of felons convicted of nonviolent crimes, according to a story by Jurist.

This order was one of the first signed by the governor, who was just sworn into office on Tuesday after defeating incumbent Matt Bevin, Jurist said. Beshear’s order brought to mind the goals of an order signed by his father, Steve Beshear, the governor of Kentucky in 2015. The original order was undone by Bevin in the interim.

Beshear’s actions affect 140,000 convicted felons, making good on a promise he had made, according to a story by Fox News.

The order applies to Kentuckians who have committed non-violent offenses and have completed their sentences and does not include sex offenders, rapists or murderers, Beshear, a Democrat, said to a group of voting rights supporters.

Beshear called it an “injustice” that former felons are unable to “fully rejoin society by casting a vote on election day [and were] automatically denied regardless of the circumstances of their offense or their good work since serving their sentences.”

Black disenfranchisement is 26 percent in Kentucky, according to The Sentencing Project.

Beshear said he signed the order to reduce Kentucky’s disenfranchisement rate, one of the highest in the nation, WBUR said.

Kentucky was one of just two states with a blanket, lifetime voting ban on felons. The other is Iowa.

Beshear said that Kentucky’s executive order does not require felons to pay fees or fines in order to exercise their right.

Beshear also said that permanent, automatic restoration of voting rights would require a constitutional amendment. He said he will try to do that legislatively, but acknowledged it could take years with Republicans controlling the legislature.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “Andy Beshear” by Andy Beshear. 





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2 Thoughts to “New Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear Gives Nonviolent Felons the Right to Vote, Run for Public Office”

  1. 83ragtop50

    What else would one expect from a Democrat. They have to stuff the ballot box somehow.

  2. William R. Delzell

    Good for Kentucky’s new Democrat governor! When one has paid her or his debt to society, they should IMMEDIATELY regain their right to vote! Voting is both a duty and obligation of citizenship. The real purpose of disenfranchising former felons is class- and racial prejudice–nothing else. Any politician who says this disenfranchisement is for victims’ rights is a flat out liar.

    If Tennessee’s governor Lee has any decency in his supposedly Christian body, he too would seek the immediate restoration of voting rights of those who have completed their sentencing. But Governor Lee only cares about people in the same way that the out-going lame-duck Republican governor of Kentucky did when he granted pardons (clemency for cash) to people, some of whom committed crimes even worse than those that Tennessee inmates have gone to their execution for. Perhaps if all Tennessee’s death row inmates had money to pay for Lee’s 2018 election campaign, Lee too would have commuted or pardoned all of them as well. That’s all these so-called victims’ rights governors care for: money and lots of it!