Sen. Paul Testifies in Support of Restoring Voting Rights; Constitutional Amendment Passes Kentucky Senate
Paul says cause is most just; Urges agreement on final passage
FRANKFORT, Ky. - Sen. Rand Paul today appeared in front of the Kentucky Senate State & Local Government Committee to testify in support of restoring the right to vote for many non-violent felons in Kentucky.
Sen. Paul said that restoring voting rights for those who have repaid their debt to society was simply the right thing to do.
"One mistake in life shouldn't permanently block a citizen's access to the ballot box," Sen. Paul said. "The right to vote is among the most important rights we have. It is something for which people in other countries have lost their lives."
Following Sen. Paul's testimony, the committee approved a version of House Bill 70, a proposed constitutional amendment that would restore the right to vote in Kentucky for many non-violent felons who have completed their sentences. Later in the day, the full Kentucky Senate voted 34-4 to pass the measure.
Over the past several years, the Kentucky House of Representatives has repeatedly approved measures restoring the right to vote for many Kentuckians. This is the first time the Senate has advanced the issue.
On Jan. 16, the Kentucky House passed a different version of HB 70 by a vote of 82-12. Sen. Paul now urges the General Assembly to agree on final passage of a proposed amendment so that it may be placed on the ballot for voters to decide this fall.
"This cause is most just," said Sen. Paul. "The right to vote is a sacred one and I urge the Kentucky General Assembly to continue moving this issue forward and place it on the ballot."
Sen. Paul also plans to push at the federal level for restoration of voting rights in federal elections for non-violent offenders who have completed their sentences.