Voting Rights News | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Voting Rights News

Andy Beshear vetoes voter ID bill, says it would ‘create an obstacle’ to voting

April 3, 2020
Lexington Herald-Leader

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday vetoed a controversial bill that would have required people to show photo identification before they could vote in Kentucky elections.

In his veto message, Beshear wrote Senate Bill 2 “would create an obstacle to the ability of Kentuckians to exercise their right to vote, resulting in fewer people voting and undermining our democracy.”

‘Perversion of democracy’ underway in Frankfort as lawmakers continue to meet amid pandemic

March 19, 2020
Lexington Herald-Leader

In the middle of a worldwide pandemic and national crisis, when every credible governmental official and health expert is telling us to practice social distancing and stay at home, the Kentucky legislature continues to meet. It is considering bills that have nothing to do with helping the state through the coronavirus crisis.

What a perversion of democracy.

Healthy Democracy Day Success

March 5, 2020 at 02:18pm

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We had our Healthy Democracy Day in Frankfort yesterday bringing about 100 Kentuckians to Frankfort to share their vision for a real Democracy in Kentucky and to fight for it.

We had 9 lobby teams, recruited 7 bill co-sponsorships, had 24 legislative meetings, had 15 powerful speakers, and really laid the groundwork to stop SB 62 this session, and pass HB 6 next session while weaving an overall vision of what kind of Democracy we want more than we have before in Frankfort.

Call in for Restoration of Voting Rights for People with Felonies in their Past

February 24, 2020 at 01:41pm

1-28-20 Frankfort Lobbying-3121We’ve been pushing to restore voting rights of people with felonies in their past in Kentucky for 15 years. We’re closer now than ever, but some Senate Republicans are answering this call with voting rights legislation that doesn’t actually give anyone their right to vote back. It will come up for a vote in the Senate tomorrow (Tuesday, 2/25), so calls are needed urgently!

Voting Rights EO Decision Tree

February 19, 2020 at 08:46am

With information from the Campaign Legal Center's RestoreYourVote.org tool, KFTC has developed a decision tree to use in the field to help people determine if Governor Andy Beshear's Executive Order restoring voting rights to 140,000 Kentuckians applies to them.  Here's a link to the PDF and an image of it is below.  

DecisionTree

Click the image  to enlarge

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:

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