Senate Panel Revises Felons' Voting Rights Bill

By Associated Press | 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says a proposed Kentucky ballot measure to restore voting rights for some felons is guided by the principle of giving people a second chance.

The Kentucky Republican spoke in favor of the proposal that cleared a state Senate committee Wednesday, after the measure was rewritten.

The amended version would create a five-year waiting period before felons would have their voting rights automatically restored.

Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer says the wait would give felons a chance to "prove themselves."

The House-passed version would automatically restore voting rights for some felons once they complete their sentences and probation. Sen. Reginald Thomas called the waiting period "punitive and oppressive."

The bill's final version will likely be hashed out by House and Senate negotiators.

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