Monday, October 11, 2010

Ex-Offenders Make Application to Regain Voting Rights

By: Min. Angela Lee Price
Shonda Blakemore, left with Min Angela Lee Price, attended the “Let My People Vote” Restoration of Voting Rights and Expungement Workshop held Saturday, October 2nd at the St. Stephen Family Life Center in Louisville. The workshop was a partnership with the Men's Ministry.  She and four applicants received word on October 6th from the Department of Corrections in Louisville that their applications have passed round one of the approval process and have been forwarded to the Department of Corrections and Governor’s office in Frankfort for final approval.

Kentucky and Virginia are the last two remaining states that permanently disenfranchise all people with felony convictions, unless they receive individual, discretionary, executive clemency (see attached Brennan Center for Justice "Restoring The Right To Vote" document). "This is a primary reason St. Stephen Church and Jesus Saves Ministries are involved as advocates for ex-offenders, this and the fact that ours are ministries of reconciliation and social justice," states Min. Price. "We track applications through the entire process, and have shared the testimonies and stories of many of our applicants in Jesus Saves Newsletters and journals, on the Jesus Saves Ministries Blog, on the Jesus Saves Ministries and St. Stephen Church social networks and elsewhere to demonstrate the move of God in their lives. The laws in Kentucky and Virginia need revision, especially when you consider that voting rights are automatically restored after release from prison in neighboring states Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois, 10 other states, and the District of Columbia. And even prisoners may vote in Maine and Vermont. Their voting rights are never revoked."
Archia Kinnard, right with her daughters and attendee Shonda Blakemore, was the presenter on expungements at the October 2nd workshop. She is Asst. Supervisor for Expungement and Information Services at the Hall of Justice in Louisville and has been processing District Court expungements for 12 years. She and Min. Price conducted a "Let My People Vote" workshop for Dismas Charities in Portland on August 25th.  The first in the series of workshops was held on August 12th for the Shawnee Justice Reinvestment Pilot Project.

Two applicants, Connie Wells-Cooksey and Kenneth Braxton, regain their rights to vote and hold public office in late March and both say they will be voting in the November midterm election. In all, voting rights were restored to 21 former felons through this ex-offender advocacy initiative, and the Louisville Branch NAACP modeled their first-time felons program after our initiative to help more than 100 former felons regain voting rights for the 2008 presidential election.

Applications are still be accepted.  Call Min. Angela Lee Price at St. Stephen Church, 502-583-6798, Ext. 6804, or at Jesus Saves Ministries, 502-415-1001.

"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked"  Psalm 82:3-4.

Let My People Vote Workshop Travels to Dismas Charities
Jesus Saves Ministries Conducted Let My People Vote Workshop August 12th
Brennen Report - Restoring Right to Vote.pdf

Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves.  Jesus saves!


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