Florida ballot initiative giving former felons the right to vote passes

Florida ballot initiative giving former felons the right to vote passes

An item fast tracked by Scott and his Cabinet a month after Scott took office in 2011 replaced the Crist-era reform and established a requirement that felons must wait at least five years before applying to the Office of Executive Clemency for a review of their criminal case.

Four states-Colorado, Michigan, Missouri and Utah-created new redistricting systems for their state legislatures, their congressional districts, or both on November 6.

Florida voters passed a measure on Tuesday that automatically reestablishes voting rights for ex-felons, expanding the number of people who can vote in the state by approximately 1 million.

In passing Amendment 4, a Florida electorate that elected a Republican governor and appears to be on track to elect a Republican senator also voted to extend voting rights for people with felony criminal records. "One, Florida's system was just really broken".

If Amendment 10 passes, it would constitutionally require the existence of a Florida Department of Veterans Affairs. The largest percentage of disenfranchised felons is white, he said. I think how we did it was also helpful.


Florida voters have regularly swung between supporting Republican and Democratic presidential candidates over the past few decades.

Crowds who were gathered at an election night rally for Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for Florida governor, erupted in cheers when cable news networks reported the ballot measure had crossed the 60 percent threshold it needed to pass.

The measure received broad bipartisan support. This is another example of the extent to which some groups on the right, as well as politicians, have worked across the aisle on these issues, although the extent to which they have been successful has been limited due to the fact that these issues still face opposition from some conservatives as well as so-called "law and order" supporters.

The state also approved a wide-ranging amendment that will allow people to register to vote on Election Day and will institute automatic voter registration. The process was implemented by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, and could take nearly seven years just to complete an application. At the state level, the effort to simplify the process that ex-felons must go through to get their rights restored has been underway for some time now, but seems to have picked up steam in recent years. Many are laws that prevent people now in prison from voting while others are laws that prevent people from voting until they have finished parol or probation.

Previously, Florida was one of three states-along with Iowa and Kentucky-that barred anyone who has committed a felony from voting. Once someone has completed the terms of their sentence, there is no valid reason to continue denying them their civil rights, including the right to vote, either until they are able to navigate a restoration petition through a bureaucratic maze or for the rest of their lives. In any case, hopefully, this move will provide impetus to similar efforts across the country, because it's long overdue.

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