Florida Overwhelmingly Votes To Restore Voting Rights To Convicted Felons

Approximately 10 percent of Florida's population was barred from voting due to felony convictions.

Tallahassee, FL – Florida voters have approved a ballot initiative to to restore voting rights to 1.5 million convicted felons.

Amendment 4 automatically restores voting rights to convicted felons after they complete their prison, parole, or probation sentences, CNN reported.

Offenders convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense will still not be allowed to vote.

Prior to the amendment, Florida had 13 million people who were eligible to participate in elections.

Approximately 10 percent of the state’s total population was barred from voting due to felony convictions, NPR reported.

According to CNN, over one out of five African-American adults have completed their sentences for felony convictions, and were unable to vote prior to the amendment passing.

Felons had previously been allowed to appeal to the governor for restoration of their voting rights, which were granted to just over 153,000 criminals in the past 11 years, NPR reported.

Democratic Governor Charlie Christ restored voting rights to over 150,000 convicts during his four years in office, while Republican Governor Rick Scott has restored the right to vote to just over 3,000 felons over the course of the past seven years.

In 2011, Scott altered the process and imposed a seven-year waiting period before convicts who completed their sentences could apply for restoration of their voting rights, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

In most cases, applicants ended up waiting another three years to receive a response due to the backlog of appeals.

The appeals process was deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge in February, NPR reported.

“In Florida, elected, partisan officials have extraordinary authority to grant or withhold the right to vote from hundreds of thousands of people without any constraints, guidelines, or standards," the judge declared at the time. "Its members alone must be satisfied that these citizens deserve restoration…The question now is whether such a system passes constitutional muster. It does not."

On Tuesday, 64 percent of Florida voters approved the Amendment 4 ballot initiative.

Comments
No. 1-10
Rob56
Rob56

Orlando crime is already out of control. Ive been here off an on since 1973.I'm leaving soon.

HH3
HH3

Surely a process to increase the democrat base. Thereby, increasing the vote totals for the truly socialist party. At least socialist for the masses, not the elite governing body. They will truly set themselves apart and have a whole different set of rules and benefits just for them.

magnumforc
magnumforc

1.5 million new votes for the Democrats...

Marxest
Marxest

Not sure I agree with convicted murderers and rapists being allowed to vote. Suffrage is a right and privilege. Someone convicted of a violent felony shouldn't be allowed to vote in most cases. Convicts with lesser, non violent crimes should have voting rights, but not for extreme criminals. Time will tell what effect this will have on Florida's politics demographics/population. Funny if convicts start moving to the state.

walkintall
walkintall

Another dandy idea from your political left. Just dandy.....

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