Rand Paul wants to restore felons’ voting rights

September 16, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Monday that he will work to restore the voting rights of convicted felons who have completed their sentences.

More from the Louisville Courier-Journal:

Speaking at a community center in western Louisville, Paul said laws should be changed to make it easier for felons to regain their rights to vote at both the state and federal levels.

Short of that, he suggested that “Class D” felonies for crimes like drug possession and non-payment of child support should be reclassified to misdemeanors so those who are convicted wouldn’t lose their voting rights in the first place.

Paul said a third of adult black men are convicted felons and that restoring their voting rights is the most important thing government can do to make sure people’s voting rights are protected.

Felon voting rights aren't exactly the issue du jour in Congress, but state lawmakers in Kentucky have proposed allowing convicted felons to vote after they've served their sentences -- something most states allow.

An automated poll earlier this year showed Kentuckians approved of that idea by a 51-38 margin.

Generally, though, Democrats are more in favor of allowing felons to vote while Republicans oppose the idea.

Paul has also pushed to get rid of mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, arguing that they disproportionately impact minorities and clog the jail system.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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Aaron Blake | September 16, 2013