Do we believe a person can be redeemed or not? That's the question at the heart of the debate about the restoration of the right to vote after a person convicted of a felony has paid his or her debt to society.
Seven percent of all voting-age Kentuckians cannot vote; as former felons they have lost their right to vote.
Under Section 145 of the Kentucky Constitution, the Governor can restore a former felon's right to vote. To apply for restoration, a felon must fill out an "Application for Restoration of Civil Rights" and return it to:
Department of Corrections
Division of Probation & Parole
Attn: Restoration of Civil Rights
P.O. Box 2400
Frankfort, KY 40602-2400
Long term, the solution is amending Kentucky's Constitution to make automatic restoration once a felon has paid his debt to society. Short term, making it as easy as possible for former felons to ask the Governor to restore their right to vote is the best we can do.
I have created a form that Kentuckians can fill out online, print, sign, and return to the address above. The applicant's signature must be notarized (search by city or zip code) or witnessed by the applicant's probation and parole officer.
Please note: this form cannot be saved online or submitted online. If you get stuck, fill out as much as you can, print it, and then fill out the rest as you collect the required information. You can also just right-click and save the file and fill it in later.
We will fix this broken system eventually. This opt-in system keeps 243,000 Kentuckians off of the voter rolls. We will fix this with a system of automatic restoration. For now, though, we need to make applying for restoration of civil rights as frictionless as possible. This is my small attempt to contribute something valuable.