League Releases Polling Data: Public Supports Automatic Restoration of Voting Rights

restoration of voting rights (4)

January 17, 2019

Public Supports Automatic Restoration of Voting Rights

LANG HOUSE, LOUISVILLE, KY:  According to a poll released today by the League of Women Voters of Kentucky, a majority of Kentuckians, across political affiliation, gender and age categories, support the automatic restoration of voting rights for persons who complete their felony sentence.

Overall support is 2-1 with 66% in favor and 32% opposed, according to a December 2018 statewide poll of Kentucky voters.  This polling indicates that the highest support for automatic restoration is from those 18-34 years of age with approval at 83% and disapproval at 16%.

Kentucky male voters support approval with 63% approving and 36% not approving. Kentucky women voters support automatic restoration by a large majority with 69% approving and 29% not approving.

The number of people in Kentucky who support automatic restoration of voting rights upon completion of sentence is increasing. The current 66% approval of automatic restoration by Kentucky voters has increased from the 56% approval in a 2006 poll of Kentucky voters conducted by the UK Survey Research Center.

A total of 625 registered Kentucky voters were interviewed by telephone and asked the question: “When a person in Kentucky is convicted of a felony they automatically lose the right to vote. Do you think a person who has completed all terms of their felony sentence, including probation or parole, should or should not have their right to vote restored automatically?” 66% agreed, 32% disagreed and 2% had no opinion.

This poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida from December 12 through December 15, 2018. Those interviewed were randomly selected from a phone-matched Kentucky voter registration list that included both land-line and cell phone numbers. Quotas were assigned to reflect voter registration by county. The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than ±4 percentage points. This means that there is a 95 % probability that the “true” figure would fall within that range if all voters were surveyed. The margin for error is higher for any subgroup, such as a gender or party grouping. Report available here.

“Currently, Kentucky is one of only three states that permanently disenfranchise persons who are convicted of felony offenses,” said Wanda Lynch, president of the League of Women Voters of Kentucky. “Over 312,000 Kentucky citizens cannot vote because of felony convictions. We are pleased to see that a growing majority of Kentuckians agree with the League that voting rights should be restored to persons convicted of felony offenses once they have fully completed their sentencing.”

The League will release an updated 2019 Felon Disenfranchisement in the Commonwealth of Kentucky later this month.

The League of Women Voters of Kentucky is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy. To find out more contact the League of Women Voters of Kentucky at kentuckylwv@gmail.com, website:  lwvky.org, Facebook: Twitter: @LWVKY.


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