FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear provided an update Wednesday on the status of his executive order that automatically restored the right to vote to many Kentuckians previously denied this right and unveiled a website to help Kentuckians determine if they qualify.
The website, CivilRightsRestoration.ky.gov, features a searchable database for Kentuckians to find out if their rights have been restored. If so, they are eligible to register to vote immediately.
Gov. Beshear signed an executive order Dec. 12, 2019, his third day in office, restoring the rights to vote and hold public office to Kentuckians who were convicted of most non-violent felonies under Kentucky law and who have repaid their debt to society by completing their sentences.
“My faith teaches me forgiveness – that we should welcome these Kentuckians back into our communities and allow them to fully participate in our democracy,” said Beshear. “I signed an order to restore their voting rights and am excited we have identified about 152,000 people who are now eligible. With the launch of our new website, we are making sure these Kentuckians know they can register to vote.”
Kentucky State NAACP President Raoul Cunningham joined Beshear in December when the executive order was signed and again Wednesday.
“The NAACP has been working to gain voting rights for ex-offenders in Kentucky for more than a decade and we are very appreciative of Gov. Beshear’s executive order,” said Cunningham. “Now that we know that the Governor’s office has built a database where folks can check and see whether their rights have been restored, we will do all we can to seek out those eligible and get them registered and to the polls. We pledge to continue to fight for voting rights for all citizens.”
The search function on the website is a simple process:
- Enter a first and last name, and date of birth
- Verify the county of conviction or supervision
- A result is displayed
If the displayed result is inconclusive, there’s an email and phone number to contact for more information.
This does not include the individuals currently in custody or on supervision who will qualify upon completing their prison or supervision sentence.
Individuals currently in custody or on supervision will be reviewed for automatic restoration prior to their completion of sentence and told if they qualify. If they do not qualify, they’ll receive an application to apply.
Frequently asked questions, a copy of the executive order, and the application for those not eligible for automatic restoration, are on the website.
Beshear reminded those eligible that the deadline to vote in the upcoming May primary election is April 20 and encouraged people to register now instead of waiting.
Officials in the Governor’s office are working closely with state Board of Election to make the process as seamless as possible.