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State: No Voting Rights Automatically Restored to Ex-Felons

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A state official says no convicted felons had their voting rights automatically restored before Gov. Matt Bevin rescinded an executive order by his predecessor allowing the process.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Lamb told the Messenger-Inquirer that 180 applications were under review to make sure they met criteria in former Gov. Steve Beshear's order, including that convictions were for nonviolent crimes.

Lamb said the agency was in the process of determining eligibility when Bevin issued an order on Dec. 22 rescinding Beshear's Nov. 24 order. At the time, Bevin said his order would not apply to anyone who already had their rights restored.

Bevin said felons who want their voting rights restored would have to apply to his office on a case-by-case basis. He has also said the matter of whether to restore rights en masse for former felons should be decided by the state legislature.