skip to main content

Sunday, June 4, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

A Wisconsin group criticizes two of its members of Congress, a new report says the Phoenix area cannot meet its groundwater demands, and Nevada's sporting community sends its priorities to the governor.

play newscast audioPlay

The Senate aims to get the debt limit spending bill to President Biden's desk quickly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis makes a campaign stop in Iowa, and a new survey finds most straight adults support LGBTQ+ rights.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

Felony Voting Ban: "Double Jeopardy" in KY?

play audio
Play

Monday, November 5, 2018   

FRANKFORT, Ky. – They've paid their dues for mistakes of their past, however an estimated 300,000 Kentuckians are not allowed to cast a ballot on Election Day.

Kentucky is one of four states that takes away the voting power of all people with a felony conviction for their entire lifetime.

A partial pardon from the governor can restore voting rights, but it's a tedious process, according to Lexington native Tayna Fogle. She served 10 years on a felony charge, and says she was floored to discover her political voice had been taken away.

"It's like a double jeopardy for individuals who have gone to prison and have met all the qualifications to be released, to start their life over,” she states. “I believe it's a double jeopardy when we come home and we get the shocking news that we have lost our right to vote.”

It took repeated efforts and persistence, but Fogle's voting rights were eventually restored.

Felony disenfranchisement is in the Kentucky constitution.
Since 2007, there have been several unsuccessful legislative attempts at the statehouse to let voters decide on a constitutional amendment to restore voting rights for most former felons upon completion of their sentence.

Shelton McElroy of Louisville also has a past felony conviction and served his time. He contends mistakes he made nearly 20 years ago are diminishing his value in the community.

"Restricting the vote prevents us in our everyday lives from being the best people that we can and building our communities the way we desire our communities to be built," he states.

McElroy and Fogle are both organizers with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, which works around the state to increase awareness about felony voting disenfranchisement.

Fogle says too many people have lost hope in themselves and their communities, and she believes everyone deserves a shot at redemption.

"I made a mistake, but I'm not a mistake and that shouldn't prevent me from going to the polls,” she stresses. “I want my children and my grandchildren to be proud of me. And I get to freely give back what God has given to me and that's working with people just like me."

According to data from The Sentencing Project, Kentucky's felony voting ban prevents about 9 percent of Kentuckians from casting a ballot.

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth is among groups advocating for the restoration of voting rights for most people with a felony conviction.


get more stories like this via email

Almost all departments in Connecticut schools saw shortages in 2022, following a long-standing national trend. A 2022 American Federation of Teachers report found before the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 300,000 teachers were leaving the profession each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

As the school year ends, Connecticut's teacher shortage seems to have only worsened. In March, school districts across the state reported having 2,60…


Social Issues

play sound

A Muslim rights group is taking the Kent County Sheriff's Office to court for forcing a Michigan woman to remove her hijab for a booking photo…

Social Issues

play sound

A rally was held in Salem Thursday to urge passage of a bill to provide food assistance to Oregonians regardless of their immigration status…


Pennsylvanians must register to vote by Oct. 23 to be eligible to vote in the general election on Nov. 7. (Vesperstock/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

play sound

The Keystone State's general election is less than six months away and a nonpartisan, grassroots organization is already getting the word out to …

Social Issues

play sound

This week's debt ceiling deal saw federal policymakers compromise on budget-related matters, but a new awareness campaign from a Wisconsin grassroots …

A 2019 report from the New York State Comptroller's Office found almost 85% of green jobs were in increased demand. A 2022 report found there are 35,700 workers in New Jersey's green economy. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Offshore wind in New York and New Jersey is becoming a large contributor to job growth. New York's offshore wind investments are slated to create …

Social Issues

play sound

Hoosiers could play a pivotal role in pushing back against a surge of hate and violence against Jews in America. Nearly two-thirds of all …

Environment

play sound

The Nevada hunting and fishing community is sharing its top 10 conservation priorities for 2023 with Gov. Joe Lombardo's office, as they seek to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021