Voting Rights In Kentucky Makes Great Step Forward
Like many I was surprised that Kentucky’s Democratic candidate for governor lost several weeks ago. Meanwhile the term-limited incumbent Gov. Steve Beshear is showing there is still power in his office until the day he leaves. Beshear has signed an executive order that would restore voting rights to as many as 180,000 non-violent felons. That this was still allowed to be the law as long as it was is troubling.
There are only three other states (Florida, Iowa, and Virginia) that does not automatically restore voting right to felons who have completed their sentences including probation and parole. Why this is so troubling is that it translates into a large percentage of the black population. Over 20% of black residents are not eligible to vote due to this law.
Over time Democrats in the legislature have tried to remedy the matter, but with no positive outcome. Through those years Republicans resisted. Gee, I wonder why the GOP would not want African-Americans to also have every opportunity to exercise their right to vote? Hmmm…..
One has no way to predict what incoming Republican Governor-elect Matt Bevin will do with this issue as he is simply the most off-the-wall wing-nut that will soon have executive power in any state. (And that includes Wisconsin!)
But for now there is fairness in Kentucky for this segment of the electorate.