Kentucky's New Democratic Governor Allows 140,000 Ex-Felons to Vote
Back in 2015, his father, the former governor Steve Beshear, signed a similar executive order before he left office. But Governor Matt Bevin, a Republican, rescinded the order shortly after he took office thereafter. Bevin restored voting rights sparingly during his term – during his first year, he did not restore voting rights to a single person. “This is a major step in the right direction. Kentucky has the worst disparate impact of any state on black voters,” said Blair Bowie, an attorney at the Campaign Legal Center who has worked on felon disenfranchisement issues across the United States. And it comes as many states are reconsidering those prohibitions, some of which emerged after the civil war as a way of restricting the vote of newly enfranchised African Americans. Florida voters repealed the state’s lifetime ban on felon voting in 2018 through amendment 4, a move that could allow up to 1.4 million voters to cast a ballot.
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