Convicted of multiple felonies beginning at age 17, Michael Hiser has spent the better part of his life in the criminal justice system. During his incarceration Michael found faith, received an education, and turned his life around.
In the years since his release he earned a Master's degree, married and now has a son. Michael often works 15-hour days, six days a week, counseling community members seeking to overcome addiction. A registered Republican, for years Michael worked with prominent politicians of both parties in Kentucky, advocating the restoration of voting rights to more than 200,000 Kentuckians with prior felony convictions.
In recognition of his efforts, in 2015 Michael received a pardon from former Governor Beshear. On Election Day 2016, Michael voted for the first time in a general election. For this American, the act of voting symbolizes the long road he has traveled, and his acceptance as a full citizen of his community.