Saturday, July 2, 2022

Play

The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

Play

SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

A Push for Expanded Voting Rights Ahead of KY Midterm Elections

Play

Monday, January 31, 2022   

Advocacy groups in Kentucky say they're focused on expanding voting rights for former felons and fighting gerrymandering ahead of the May primary election.

A new report by the Sentencing Project finds more than 198,000 Kentuckians are barred from voting due to a past felony conviction. That's despite a 2019 executive order to expand voting rights for people with certain types of convictions.

Debra Graner - voting rights advocate with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth - pointed out that since 2019, only 17% percent of Kentuckians with a past felony on their record have successfully submitted a voting application.

"It's a right, we need to have that protection," said Graner. "A healthy democracy is one in which people are allowed to vote."

The report says Kentucky has the country's third-highest rate of disenfranchisement for Latino residents, and the sixth-highest for Black residents.

Lawmakers are considering a number of election-related bills this session. They include House Bill 68, to extend voting hours until 7 pm on Election Day, and Senate Bill 44, which would ban protests or vigils on government property, and increase criminal penalties for people involved in protests.

Dee Pregliasco, vice president with the Kentucky League of Women Voters, said the census and redistricting are closely tied to voting rights. She noted the redistricting maps lawmakers recently passed are being challenged in court.

"If the districts are drawn to protect the incumbents, that doesn't help us, the voters," said Pregliasco. "We should be choosing who represents us."

A group of Franklin County residents and the Kentucky Democratic Party, have filed a lawsuit charging that the new maps are unconstitutional and gerrymandered. Republican lawmakers disagree, and say the new maps reflect population shifts revealed in the latest census data.



Disclosure: Kentuckians for the Commonwealth contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Civic Engagement, Energy Policy, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…


Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …


The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Environment

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021