Florida residents to vote on felon voter rights initiative

Florida residents to vote on felon voter rights initiative

Florida residents to vote on felon voter rights initiative

People convicted of murder and sexual offenses were excluded from this ballot measure.

For many residents, they say although they've paid a price for their crimes, the lingering effects actions are taking a disproportionate toll.

Constitutional Amendment 4 - known as the Voting Restoration Amendment - was passed in the state, allowing almost 1.5 million convicted felons who've served out their sentence to vote. I can't cast a vote for anything.

Supporters said the state's current system was too onerous. The two remaining states are Iowa and Kentucky. Virginia has a similar provision, but the last two governors have used their executive powers to restore voting rights of those affected. In 2016, 21 percent of African-Americans were disenfranchised, according to The Sentencing Project.

Prior to the amendment, convicted felons in the state had to wait five years after serving out their sentence and then apply with the Florida Clemency Board for the right to vote. "Everyone has people who have been affected".

Kim Lawrance, an activist whose 18-year-old daughter is now incarcerated, would like to see her child be able to vote one day. "When your time is done, it's done".

"VOTE YES on Amendment 4 to restore voting rights to folks who have already paid their debt to society", Rihanna tweeted.

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Felon disenfranchisement also disproportionately affects black residents.

Florida entered the mid-term elections as one of just four states that permanently strips ex-felons from the voting process until clemency is granted. Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Rep. Ron DeSantis opposed the measure.

The majority of the amendments were put on the ballot by the Constitution Revision Commission, a group that meets every 20 years and has the authority to place measures directly on the ballot.

In Florida, as in most of the USA, black people are arrested, convicted and jailed in disproportionate numbers.

"This is proof when you speak up and work hard and fight for something you believe in, good things will happen", Stratemann said.

One of them includes Florida Amendment 3, which would apparently block sports gambling in the state of Florida.

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