Kentuckians For The Commonwealth to host voting rights rally


Jack Weaver

The Kentucky State Capitol on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Frankfort, Kentucky. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Amy Oakley, Reporter

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC) and the Kentucky Voting Rights Coalition will host a “We Love Voting Rights” rally at the Kentucky Capitol building on Feb. 14. 

The rally will be held in Frankfort, Kentucky on Valentine’s Day, with an expected 2,000 people from more than two dozen organizations planning to attend, according to KFTC officials.

Participants plan to meet with state legislators and rally to restore voting rights to Kentuckians convicted of felonies. 

Frankfort resident Debbie Graner was convicted of a felony in 2011 and has been a member of KFTC since 2017. She will be one of many leading voices with her story at the rally.

“KFTC has been fighting for voting rights restoration for people with felonies in their past for almost 19 years now,” Graner said. 

On Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s third day in office, he signed an executive order that restored voting rights to felons who were convicted of non-violent felonies, giving more than 140,000 Kentuckians the right to vote. But, even after that executive order, an estimated 200,000 Kentuckians with felonies in their past are still currently denied the right to vote, according to KFTC. 

The rally will be led by Kentuckians with felonies in their past who have lost their right to vote and those who have fought to have their rights restored. 

KFTC will begin their day at 9 a.m. with a training session and will break into small teams to talk with legislators throughout the day. At 1:30 p.m. the group will gather in the Capitol rotunda for the rally led by people directly impacted by the issue.

The hope is to restore voting rights to all convicted felons whether they committed a non-violent or violent felony.

“In 2018, one out of 10 Kentuckians of the legal voting age could not vote due to a convicted felony. It disproportionately affected people of color,” Graner said. 

According to Graner, during the same time period, one out of four age eligible voters of color were not eligible to vote due to a felony in their past. 

Additionally, the Commonwealth has not notified those who have been convicted of a felony that their voting rights have been reestablished. KFTC has worked to notify many of those affected their voting rights were restored, however, the organization has not been able to contact all. 

“We’re out there and we want to help heal Kentucky and help heal the people who have been so tragically disenfranchised, that’s the whole upsale of the deal,” Graner said. 

Those who are interested in joining the rally can sign up to join the day or learn more at