Floridians vote to restore voting rights to most felons

Floridians vote to restore voting rights to most felons

Floridians vote to restore voting rights to most felons

"If you are a convicted felon, part of what you did is you lost your rights", Governor Scott argued earlier, going on to defend the appeal process which was already in place.

Now, everyone convicted of a felony - except murder and felony sex crimes - who has completed all conditions of their sentence, such as serving prison time, completing parole or paying restitution, will automatically regain the right to vote.

"For too long, Florida has been an extreme outlier - 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". Thanks to Florida voters, more than 1 million Floridians are now eligible to vote in future elections. Amendment 4 was one of 13 ballot initiatives that Floridians considered this year, but it has received the most national attention, as it enfranchises the largest population in USA history since women's suffrage.

In the end, quite a few more than the 19 percent of voters who said they were undecided last week ended up breaking toward "yes".

Meanwhile, almost 79 percent of voters supported Amendment 12, which would expand lobbying restrictions on lawmakers and other state officials after they leave their positions.

The effort to put the amendment on the ballot was lead by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, a bipartisan group led by convicted felons that collected more than 800,000 signatures, according to the Miami Herald.

Florida was one of three states where those convicted of a felony permanently lose their right to vote, the others being Iowa and Kentucky.

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.

Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Florida affiliate, said the result would remove "an ugly stain" from the state constitution.

Per usual, the key races in Florida are nail biters.

Supporters of Amendment 4 celebrate its passage at an election night watch party in Orlando, Florida // CJ Ciaramella / ReasonORLANDO, Fla.

About 10 percent of Florida's population has a felony conviction, as the Intercept reported, and people of color are overrepresented in this demographic; one in five African-Americans in Florida have a felony conviction, a legacy of the war on drugs.

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