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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- They've served the time, but in Kentucky, they're forever punished. Now, convicted felons are fighting to get their voting rights restored.
In America it is your fundamental right -- but for a quarter of a
million Kentuckians, that right has been taken away, and supporters say it's time for Kentucky's old law to change.
Backers of House Bill 70 want to change the state's constitution which permanently
bans a person convicted of a felony from ever voting again in the state. The bill aims to restore a felon's right to vote once their prison
sentence is served and parole completed.
Mike Hiser has never voted. He served four years in prison for drug charges, but now he's a teacher, is working on a masters degree and holds a full-time job.
want to contribute, but I can't," he said. "And that's what we're saying. Yeah, we made
bad decisions, but there's a lot of politicians that have made bad
Right now, Kentucky felons can only
have their voting rights back if they are granted a pardon from the
governor -- and the bill would still ban certain felons from ever voting
if they have committed murder or sex crimes with minors. The bill just
passed a House committee, but it has to pass the full House and the full Senate before it could be put on the ballot, and that's when voters would
decide this voting rights issue.