By STU JOHNSON
Legislation to return voting rights to certain convicted felons who have served their time is now before the Kentucky Senate. It’s a constitutional amendment measure that gives the legislature the final say on how the restoration of voting rights would occur.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer remains committed to a five year waiting period provision. “Those folks coming out of jail, a third of people coming out of jail re-commit a crime within three years. I think there should be a reasonable waiting period so that we can see that they’re being good citizens, not breaking any of our laws,” said Thayer.
Katurah Herron with the ACLU said many offenders still face parole or probation requirements for three to five years where they are unable to vote. So she views the waiting period as unnecessary. Bill Sponsor Jimmy Higdon said he filed the legislation in the spirit of compromise. If approved by the legislature and then voters, the general assembly would establish the structure for restoring voting rights.
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