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Kentucky Gov. Beshear to restore voting rights to over 100,000 former felons

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Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced in his inaugural address Tuesday that he’ll sign an executive order this week restoring voting rights to more than 100,000 people who’ve been convicted of felonies.

“My faith teaches me to treat others with dignity and respect. My faith also teaches me forgiveness,” Beshear said in a speech outside the state Capitol in Frankfort.

“That’s why on Thursday I will sign an executive order restoring voting rights to over a hundred thousand men and women who have done wrong in the past but are doing right now. They deserve to participate in our great democracy,” the Democrat declared.

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“By taking this step, by restoring these voting rights, we declare that everyone counts in Kentucky. We all matter.”

No other details were immediately available, but it appears Beshear is essentially reinstating an executive order signed in 2015 by his father, former Gov. Steve Beshear, that was suspended by his father’s successor, Republican Matt Bevin.

That order restored the right to vote and hold public office to more than 140,000 nonviolent felons who completed their sentences.

Andy Beshear, who had been the state’s attorney general, defeated Bevin in an upset win last month.

Of the 50 states, only Kentucky and Iowa still deny the right to vote to anyone convicted of a felony, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, has been advocating a constitutional amendment to restore those rights.

The Beshears are the first father and son duo to serve as governors in Kentucky history.

His inauguration ushers in an era of divided government. Republicans hold overwhelming majorities in the state Legislature. But in remarks after taking the oath, Beshear urged the state’s leaders to resist the trend of political rancor and to reach across party lines.

“We also have the opportunity, no, I think it’s the duty, to prove to this commonwealth and this country that we can still govern,” he said. “Anger, insults, even hatred, have infiltrated the very sacred institutions of our government. And we see our neighbors viewing neighbors as the enemy … But right here and right now, we have a moment in time, maybe a moment in history, to get this right.”

Associated Press contributed.

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Nicola Sturgeon crisis: Scot leader admits party disputes a massive 'risk to SNP success'

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NICOLA Sturgeon has said the SNP needs to be united in its approach ahead of next year’s Holyrood elections.

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Eurocrats splurge £361k on medals to celebrate European Union – and Britons help pay

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EUROCRATS want to splash out £361,000 on medals to celebrate the European Union, Express.co.uk can reveal.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer met with Biden as running mate announcement nears

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer traveled to Delaware last weekend for a private meeting with former Vice President and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, two Democratic officials confirmed to NBC News.

News of the meeting was first reported earlier Friday by The Associated Press, which said that the meeting was Biden’s first known in-person session with a potential running mate.

The meeting lasted several hours, one of the two Democratic officials who confirmed the meeting said.

Biden had said he planned to make an announcement the first week in August, but aides later said that was unlikely. Whitmer declined to comment when asked about the meeting.

On Thursday, NBC News reported that Whitmer was among those still under serious consideration.

Democrats with knowledge of the process have said Whitmer did not recently re-emerge as a potential vice presidential pick but had long remained in Biden’s top tier.

Public speculation of a possible pick has also centered around Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., former national security adviser Susan Rice and Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., also in the running.

Michigan is a battleground state, and President Donald Trump narrowly won it in the 2016 election by around 10,700 votes.

Whitmer has earned the respect of Biden officials for her role in responding to the coronavirus pandemic — at times in the face of protests that included demonstrations outside the state capitol building in which some protesters were armed, and a tweet by Trump that read “Liberate Michigan!” in capital letters.

She elevated her public profile earlier this year by battling with Trump over the federal response to the pandemic.

Senior Biden campaign officials have made clear again in recent days that they believe the COVID-19 pandemic combined with Trump’s management of the crisis and the resulting economic fallout is the central issue of the fall campaign.

Phil Helsel contributed.



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