Florida ballot initiative giving former felons the right to vote passes

Florida ballot initiative giving former felons the right to vote passes

Kim Lawrance, an activist whose 18-year-old daughter is now incarcerated, would like to see her child be able to vote one day.

The 1.4 million people in the state who have been disenfranchised by that policy represent an estimated 10 percent of Florida's voting population and a quarter of the total disenfranchised population in the United States.

With the vote in Florida, most felons will automatically have their voting rights restored when they complete their sentences or go on probation.

Before the result, Florida was one of the four states that did not restore voting rights to felons after serving their sentences.

Of note on the supporting side of the amendment (meaning they want the citizen vote) was the Walt Disney Company - hello tourism competition - and the Seminole Tribe of Florida - hello casino competition - along with other organizations around the state. The outcome brings Florida into the mainstream with the rest of the country and welcomes more than 1 million residents back to the democratic process.

Despite the law's racist history, white men make up the majority of the disenfranchised felony population in the state. But some activists criticized the amendment for excluding individuals convicted of murder or sex crimes.

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Scott was running for senator in the state this election cycle due to being term-limited out of office.

In March, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker issued an injunction for Scott to initiate a new clemency system to restore felons' voter rights by April. It required felons to wait at least five years after completing their sentence before they could file a request with the governor and Cabinet. But, Walker's ruling was blocked by a federal appeals court.

At the beginning of 2018, Floridians for a Fair Democracy collected more than 799,000 certified petition signatures, or about 33,000 more than the group needed to get the measure on the ballot.

Stars like John Legend and Rihanna also expressed their support for the measure. Florida, a swing state that also plays a key role in national elections, has the largest number of those citizens.

Amendment 4 received 65% of the vote, according to the Miami Herald, changing 150-year-old language in the state's constitution.

"This is proof when you speak up and work hard and fight for something you believe in, good things will happen", Stratemann said. It was the deciding state in the 2000 election, and one of the most important ones in the 2016 election.

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