Kentwood Convicted Felon Election Charter Amendment (November 2011)

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A Kentwood Convicted Felon Election Charter Amendment measure was on the November 8, 2011 ballot in the city of Kentwood, which is in Kent County.

This measure was approved

  • YES 1,746 (68.4%)Approveda
  • NO 805 (31.6%)[1]

This measure will amend the city charter so that any person who is a convicted felon can not run for an elected office in the city. This measure was approved by the City Commission and was brought forth because a member of the commission, Ray VerWys who was elected in 2009, is a convicted felon. Other commissioners noted that they felt the public expected a certain standard from elected officials, though VerWys stated that he felt he had served his time for his crime and did not see why he should be further punished. Since the amendment was approved, VerWys will not be able to run for re-election when his term is up in 2013. Proponents of the ban on felons noted that other cities ban felons from offices so this is not a new idea.[2]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Shall Section 14.1, Chapter XIV, of the Charter of the City of Kentwood be amended to prohibit persons who have been convicted of a felony from being qualified to serve in elective office in the City?[3][4]

Additional reading