1.5 million ex-felons can now vote in Florida

1.5 million ex-felons can now vote in Florida

1.5 million ex-felons can now vote in Florida

The passage of Amendment Four with support of 64 percent of voters could reverberate beyond Florida into the 2020 presidential election due to the outsize role the battleground state often plays in deciding close national elections.

- Potentially altering the election landscape in a key swing state, Florida voters Tuesday approved a ballot measure that will enable more than 1 million ex-felons to regain their voting rights. The language of the amendment excludes those convicted of murder and serious sexual offenses, but supporters still estimate that over 1 million Floridians who have served time in prison would become newly eligible to vote. "Our state's lifetime voting ban was the single most powerful voter suppression tactic in the country, shutting more people out of the voting booth and out of our democracy than any other single law or policy in the country". "That's what happens when we're able to transcend partisan politics and bickering, when we're able to transence racial anxieties and discourse, when we're able to come together as God's children".

Amendment 4 reached the ballot after a grassroots initiative that collected more than 800,000 signatures.

Still, Amendment 4 is a massive improvement over Florida's current law, which required felons to basically beg for their rights back in front of panel featuring Gov. Rick Scott and his cronies. This added to Florida's already lengthy wait list as the state now has a backlog of more than 10,000 cases. Scott only restored rights to 10 percent of felons who applied for re-enfranchisement; as of October first, there was a backlog of more than 10,000 pending applications.

Those changes motivated Meade into action.

"As expected, Floridians have affirmed that they are opposed to offshore oil drilling and furthermore believe that they have the right to breath clean air when in enclosed workspaces", said Constitution Revision Commission member Lisa Carlton, a former state senator, said in a statement to The News Service of Florida. Its stringent, complicated requirements led to a system that left one in five African-Americans disenfranchised, which is why Oliver called out the state so publicly.

Black codes and Jim Crow laws, however, systematically prevented African Americans from voting until the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. "We are just ready to go forth and see greater things take place in the state of Florida". We accomplished this victory through love and inclusion, not through fear.

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