Arbitrary Rights Restoration
Due Process Rights Restoration
While challenging Kentucky’s arbitrary rights restoration process in federal court, Fair Elections Center and Kentucky Equal Justice Center learned that Gov. Beshear has been treating previously submitted rights restoration applications, like plaintiff Rick Petro’s, as invalid and ineligible for consideration solely because they were submitted prior to his term as Governor, and without adequately notifying affected applicants that they must resubmit their applications. Nearly 900 applicants have been affected by this unofficial policy.
We believe this policy violates the Kentucky constitution, which requires the Governor to issue a decision as to each restoration application and, if denied, the reasons for denial. Like the U.S. Constitution, the Kentucky Constitution also protects the right to due process, which we believe requires the Governor to inform these applicants that they must reapply to have their applications considered. We filed a class action lawsuit in Kentucky state court in 2021 to block enforcement of the unofficial policy or require Gov. Beshear to send adequate notice of the unofficial policy to applicants who applied prior to his term and who never received an explanation for why their application never received a decision.
Second Amended Complaint (8.24.21)
Order Granting Governor's Motion to Dismiss (10.3.21)
Voting Rights Groups Seek to Ensure Fair Chance to Apply for Voting Rights Restoration in Kentucky