Rand Paul to visit Frankfort to support voting rights for felons - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Rand Paul to visit Frankfort in support of voting rights for felons

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The legislation  would restore voting rights for all felons except those convicted of intentional murder, rape, sodomy or sexual intercourse with a minor. The legislation would restore voting rights for all felons except those convicted of intentional murder, rape, sodomy or sexual intercourse with a minor.
Currently, felons must appeal to the governor for a restoration of voting rights. Currently, felons must appeal to the governor for a restoration of voting rights.
Rep. Jeff Hoover Rep. Jeff Hoover
Sen. Rand Paul Sen. Rand Paul

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Senator Rand Paul, one of the country's most prominent Republicans, will make a trip to Frankfort to urge support of a Democrat's bill before the Kentucky Legislature that would restore voting rights for most felons.

Paul, a Republican from Bowling Green, has publicly supported similar legislation before.

"A government of, by and for the people is only possible with a free right to vote," Paul said in a statement. "I am committed to securing this right for the people of the Commonwealth."

Kentucky State Rep. Jesse Crenshaw, D-Lexington, is the bill's primary sponsor. House Bill 70 passed the House Elections Committee on Tuesday with no lawmakers voicing opposition.

The legislation would restore voting rights for all felons except those convicted of intentional murder, rape, sodomy or sexual intercourse with a minor.

It would benefit at least 120,000 Kentucky felons who currently must appeal to the governor for a restoration of voting rights, Crenshaw said.

Crenshaw said he hoped Paul's support would sway the minds of Senate Republicans, who have blocked his legislation in previous years.

State Rep. Jeff Hoover, a Republican and the Kentucky House minority leader, said he has long supported the issue but spoke in favor of it Tuesday for the first time.

"I do believe that, when an individual has completed what the court system has required of him or her, it is a matter of fairness that they be restored their right to vote," Hoover said.

The bill next goes to the House floor.

A date hasn't been set for the Kentucky Senate committee hearing at which Paul's office said the senator plans to testify.

The Kentucky Voting Rights Coalition is sponsoring a voting rights rally Wednesday, January 15 on the Capitol rotunda from 1 to 2 p.m.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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