2013 Report: Kentucky Felony Voting Law Bars Over 243,000 From Polls

February 11, 2013

• Kentucky one of four states to ban former felons from voting
• Kentucky #3 in rate of disenfranchisement
• Kentucky #2 in disenfranchisement of African Americans
• 243,000 currently disenfranchised, 57,000 more than reported in 2006 study

Frankfort, KY – The League of Women Voters of Kentucky released a state report today, Felony Disenfranchisement in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, showing Kentucky has the third highest rate of citizens and the second highest rate of African Americans who have lost their right to vote despite completing their full felony sentence. This report is an updated version of a similar 2006 study.

According to the report, Kentucky is one of only four states to enforce lifetime voting bans on all persons with felony convictions resulting in the disenfranchisement of over 243,000 residents. This is an increase of more than 57,000 since the figures reported by the League in 2006.

One of every 14 adults in Kentucky is ineligible to vote due to a previous felony conviction, a rate of 7.35 percent, nearly three times the national rate of 2.5 percent. Among African Americans, almost one in five is disenfranchised, a rate of 22.3 percent, nearly triple the national rate of 7.66 percent. The report also finds that 90 percent of those disenfranchised live in the community, and 74 percent have completed their full sentence.

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