Voting Rights News | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Voting Rights News

Big week for Voting Rights last week

February 6, 2020 at 12:15pm

Over 36 hours, we had three big voting rights events – a Voting Rights Lobby Day, a Criminal Justice Panel Discussion, and a Press Conference for HB 6.

1-28-20 Frankfort Lobbying-3121 20200128_094608

Voting Rights Lobby Day

In all, we had 34 documented meetings with legislators, 8 lobby teams, and 28 grassroots lobbyists plus the Kentucky Council of Church's great Prayer Day of Action on Voting Rights and 60 UFCW workers there who talked to legislators about HB 6 as a part of their meetings.

Our members built up their confidence in speaking truth to power and we had frustrating and yet valuable conversations with foes and allied legislators alike.

We got a lot done today and we can build on it. Come join us in Frankfort to continue the work!

Voter Suppression is Violence – stop Senate Bill 2

January 23, 2020 at 05:26pm

x20200122_102707KFTC members were in Frankfort and on the phones yesterday to fight Senate Bill 2, a photo voter ID law designed to make it harder for some Kentuckians to vote by creating new hurdles for them. It’s especially troubling for young, elderly, low income and people of color communities – people who are less likely to have or need a photo ID. 

SB 2 is supposed to make it harder for people to impersonate someone else on election day. But even the bill's supporters at the hearing couldn't come up with even one example this century of any time anyone tried to do that in Kentucky.

To address this non-existent problem, they’re trying to pass a complicated 66-page bill that restructures a lot of our voting process and they’re trying to do it all in a hurry.

We ought to be making it easier for citizens to vote, though, not harder.

Kentucky bill would make it harder for formerly incarcerated people to vote

January 21, 2020
The Appeal

Less than a month after newly sworn-in Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order restoring the right to vote to roughly 140,000 people with felony convictions who have completed their sentences, state Republicans 

Voting Rights Coalition gathers to set the stage for 2020

January 13, 2020 at 10:52pm

Voting Rights Coalition Meeting 1/13/19

Over 40 people from 22 organizations gathered yesterday in Frankfort to celebrate our recent victories around voting rights, come to a shared understanding of Beshear’s executive order, to plan our work in the General Assembly to pass a robust constitutional amendment, and to start to think about how we can work together to register the estimated 140,000 Kentuckians who just regained the right to vote.

Our legislative focus between now and April 15 will be on HB 6, Charles Booker’s bill to restore voting rights to all Kentuckians after they’ve served their time.  This bill is still needed because it doesn’t have the same exclusions as Beshear’s Executive order and it would be permanent. 

To make a difference in this campaign in just a few minutes, you can call the Legislative Message Line (800-372-7181) and leave a message for your senator and representative, plus House and Senate Leadership to say that you “support HB 6.”

How do I know if Beshear's executive order restored my right to vote?

January 13, 2020 at 10:38pm


We won a major victory late last year when Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order restoring the right to vote to an estimated 140,000 people with felonies in their past.

Our allies at the Campaign Legal Center put together a great tool at www.Restoreyourvote.org to help people figure out whether Andy Beshear's Executive Order applies to them.


It asks a series of questions to determine if someone can register to vote, and if so, connects you with an online voter registration portal. For people excluded from the executive order but who have served their time, there's still the option of requesting voting rights through an individual partial pardon from the Governor.


Exclusions in the executive order are:

Statement from the Kentucky Voting Rights Coalition on the victory and path ahead

December 23, 2019 at 10:39am


On December 12, Governor Andy Beshear helped Kentucky take a historic step forward. With the twirl of a pen, 140,000 previously disenfranchised members of our commonwealth were re-empowered with the right to vote. Years of conversations, meetings, phone calls, and work by people with felonies in their past created the grassroots support needed to bring us to this moment.

Over a hundred of us attended and cheered as the governor signed the order and stated his support for a constitutional amendment to restore voting rights. There is much to be lauded about this act, including the explicit exclusion of any requirement that fines and fees be paid to qualify for restoration. 140,000 is truly a huge number, and a step towards helping disenfranchised people regain a sense of normalcy within society.

This is what a healthy democracy is about – allowing people who have a stake in the decisions made by elected officials to have a voice in deciding who those officials are. It’s fundamental to who we are as a state and a nation.

We, the Kentucky Voter Rights Restoration Coalition, are a network of 30+ similarly minded community groups working to ensure that every person who is denied the right to vote has that right restored. We believe that once a person has served their time, they have the right to re-engage with society.

Big Voting Rights Win - Executive Action

December 17, 2019 at 04:03pm

Governor Andy Beshear's Executive Action of Voting Rights SigningOn Thursday, Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order to restore voting rights for an estimated 140,000 people with felonies in their past.  It’s an overwhelming and powerful victory 15 years in the making that has the potential to deepen our Democracy in Kentucky.  And with a truer Democracy, so much is possible.

Debbie's Reflections on Today's Inauguration

December 10, 2019 at 04:10pm

2.13.19_Voting_Rights_Rally-0456Today, I stood in the cold for hours at Andy Beshear’s inauguration because I believe in democracy, and I’m really proud of his win and what it means for the future of Kentucky. I worked hard with Kentuckians For The Commonwealth to get him elected, making phone calls and talking to people on their doorstep. But I couldn't vote for him.

We gained ground Tuesday – and we can’t slow down

November 7, 2019 at 12:19pm

Congratulations, Kentucky – we chose a new governor! We did it by choosing each other ­– by having conversations with our neighbors about the issues we care about and by showing up together at the polls.

Governor-elect Andy Beshear’s campaign knocked on one million doors. Ally organizations engaged voters across the state. And more than 300 KFTC members and volunteers had conversations with more than 50,000 Kentuckians at their front doors, on the phone and at community events.

Together, we made an impact. And we can’t slow down.

Governor's race could decide whether 100K+ Kentuckians regain the right to vote

October 25, 2019
The Courier-Journal

AN ESTIMATED 312,000 KENTUCKIANS CAN'T VOTE BECAUSE OF A FELONY CONVICTION. THAT COULD CHANGE AFTER THE STATE'S GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION ON NOV. 5.

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