AP

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Andy Beshear announced a new effort to help Kentucky residents determine if they are among the nonviolent felons now qualified to vote based on an order he signed at the start of his term.

The website unveiled Wednesday features a searchable database for people to find out if their voting rights were restored. It's a followup to the executive order Beshear signed in December to restore voting rights to nonviolent felons with completed sentences.

At the time, the action was estimated to restore voting access for about 140,000 Kentuckians. But Beshear said Wednesday that the figure is higher, at about 152,000 people.

The website — CivilRightsRestoration.ky.gov — is part of an effort aimed at encouraging them to register to vote in this year's elections.

“My faith teaches me forgiveness — that we should welcome these Kentuckians back into our communities and allow them to fully participate in our democracy," the governor said.

Kentucky State NAACP President Raoul Cunningham said the next step is to reach out to those now eligible to vote to get them registered.

“We cannot sit back and just be thankful that this day has come," Cunningham said at a news conference with Beshear. “Because the work has just begun."

The deadline to register to vote in Kentucky's May primary election is April 20, Beshear said.

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