FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18 — On Dec. 12, 2019, Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order that automatically restored the right to vote for about 152,000 Kentuckians. However, the order only applied to those who served out their sentence and/or fulfilled the terms of their parole or probation for most non-violent felonies.
That sent people looking for answers on whether they qualify or not. So to make things easier, a new website - www.CivilRightsRestoration.ky.gov - has been launched.
"With the launch of our new website, we are making sure these Kentuckians know they can register to vote," said Beshear.
The website features a searchable database. The search function only has two steps:
- Enter a first and last name, and date of birth
- Verify the county of conviction or supervision
With that information, a result will be displayed. If it's inconclusive, an email and contact phone number will be displayed for more information.
Kentucky State NAACP President Raoul Cunningham said now that the website it out, those who are eligible should register immediately.
"Those of us who are advocates have got to go and seek out and help those who are eligible under this program," said Cunningham. "We cannot sit back and just be thankful that this day has come - because the work has just begun."
The database will be updated every 24 hours and as new people are released from prison and jail, they will be added to it. However, the governor says those currently serving out their sentence will be contacted directly, so they should know if they qualify before they are released.
"So our goal is as people exit the system, they have that information as they are leaving," said Beshear.
The 152,000 people who are eligible to vote can do so immediately. The deadline to vote in the upcoming May primary election is April 20th.