Released felons rally for return of voting rights - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Released felons rally for return of voting rights

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Tayna Fogle Tayna Fogle
Maetta Broadus Maetta Broadus
State Rep. Jesse Crenshaw State Rep. Jesse Crenshaw

By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Dozens of convicted felons descended upon the Capital rallying for the right to vote. As it stands now, after serving their sentence those men and women do not automatically get that right back.

"We're here in Frankfort to fight for the right to vote because we make a difference in this community," said Tayna Fogle, a former felon from Lexington who was at the rally.

Hundreds filled the State Capital with cheers.

"We are not going away until the constitutional amendments changed in Kentucky," said Fogle.

As it stands convicted felons cannot automatically vote. Maetta Broadus of Louisville woman she was charged with assault, but never convicted. Still she went 15 years without a voice.

"I felt like I was not a productive member of society and it was degrading," said Broadus.

Broadus and others like her can apply to get their voting rights back, but it's a complicated process. House Bill 70 would allow the people to vote to let felons who have served their sentence get them back automatically.

"When the United states constitution was first drafted, those who were allowed to vote were white males who owned property," said sponsor Rep. Jesse Crenshaw (D-Fayette). "Over the years all that has changed. There are only two states, Virginia and Kentucky that make it a lifelong punishment. A lifelong depriving people of the right to vote."

The bill has passed through the House and is currently in a Senate Committee. 

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