Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is the leading roadblock to pro-democracy election reforms in the United States. Not only is McConnell an enemy to the right to vote, he is also single-handedly stopping vital election security to protect our democracy. Kentucky deserves better than McConnell and voting rights would improve across the country if McConnell is fired in 2020.

This session at the state level, grassroots activists pushed to automatically restore voting rights to individuals with felony records after they have completed their sentences. Currently, Kentucky is one of only three states — including Iowa and Virginia — that permanently strip individuals of their right to vote after a felony conviction. Over 312,000 Kentucky citizens cannot vote because of felony convictions. Unfortunately, due to Republican opposition, legislation (SB 93HB 91SB 90SB 91) proposed by Kentucky Democrats that would have restored to the right of these Kentucky citizens to vote failed. 

Democratic legislators in Kentucky also introduced legislation that would improve the ability of Kentuckians to vote. Democrats introduced bills to expand early voting (SB 63HB 253), enact early in-person absentee voting (SB 251HB 372), extend voting hours (HB 247SB 134), enact automatic voter registration (HB 364), lower the voting age for local elections to 16 years (SB 48), and establish Election Day as a national holiday (HR 85). Every single one of these pro-voter, pro-democracy bills failed due to Republican opposition. Kentucky Republicans want to make it harder to vote, so Kentucky voters need to make sure they won’t be reelected.

Kentucky state elections are this November. Kentuckians deserve politicians who understand the value of every citizen’s right to vote and will work to make elections fairer, freer, and more accessible. That’s why voters need to vote for voting rights champion Andy Beshear for governor and need to vote out Republicans like Gov. Matt Bevin who suppress the vote. 2019 is a big year for voting rights in Kentucky.