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Statewide Voter Project Puts Focus on Those Whose Rights were Restored

A voter registration campaign launched in Kentucky with a special focus on registering people who had their voting rights restored through executive action by Gov. Andy Beshear last December.

The Kentucky Democracy Project said in a news release that it is a new effort to register, educate and mobilize tens of  thousands of Kentucky voters, particularly people with felonies in their past, and get people out to vote.  

It will also place an emphasis on lower-income communities, people of color, and young people. 

The project is a campaign of Kentucky Coalition, a social justice organization supporting leadership development, grassroots organizing and public policy advocacy in Kentucky, across the South and in Appalachia, established in 1984. It is affiliated with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth.

“We’re dedicated to reaching the 170,000 Kentuckians who got their right to vote back through Governor Beshear’s December 2019 Executive Action and spreading the word about the 2020 election process to make sure people know how to cast their vote through the mail or by voting in person early,” said Debbie Graner of Frankfort, a leader in the effort. "The voices and efforts of people with felonies in their past are especially important to this campaign." 

The Kentucky Democracy Project’s work includes online trainings, phone banks to register and mobilize voters, literature drops on doorsteps and in public spaces, COVID-19 safe voter registration tables and canvassing, and mailings, a news release said.

Its website offers 2020 voting information. There is a place for people to opt-into a texting conversation with a volunteer to help figure out if they got back their right to vote, links to trainings and phone bank events people can use to get involved in this work, and other information.

Other notes from the Kentucky Democracy Project:

  • All Kentuckians concerned about COVID-19 may request a ballot at now.

  • October 9 is the deadline to request a mail-in ballot through

  • Requested ballots won’t get printed and mailed until September 15, so it may not arrive right away.

  • Voters should fill out mail ballots completely, including signing and sealing both envelopes and not removing any flaps – reasons many primary election ballots were not counted.

  • Completed ballots can be mailed or dropped off at a secure drop box in the county or at the county clerk’s office.

  • The deadline to mail in or drop off a completed ballot is November 3, but doing it as early as possible is encouraged.

  • Early in-person voting (for people who didn’t vote by mail) begins October 13 including at least 4 hours on three Saturdays leading up to election day.

  • Counties may reduce the number of sites for in-person voting November 3, but there will be at least one countywide site. 

  • Voters who are unable to get photo ID because of COVID-19 will be allowed to vote.

-Staff report

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