Voting Rights Of Former Felons

Florida’s Discriminatory 150 Year Old Law Denying Voting Rights To Felons Who Have Paid Their Debt To Society Finally Being Challenged

About 1.4 million Floridians are denied the right to vote, because of past criminal records, but have paid their debt to society.

This discriminatory law has been in place since 1868, as part of a racist policy during Reconstruction, designed against African Americans, and Governor Rick Scott and the Republican Florida Cabinet Officers have made it nearly impossible for any of this group to regain their voting rights, even a decade or more after having met all legal requirements to be able to have their voting rights restored.

Now there is a constitutional amendment question that will be on the Florida ballot in November, requiring 60 percent or more of those voting to support the end of this discrimination, only found also in three other states—Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia—although the latter has had two Democratic Governors–Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam–who have worked on restoring rights by executive action.

Florida, as the third largest state, is an outlier on the issue, and the proposed constitutional amendment, a move done by former felons working together, seems to have a good chance of success, and particularly with the apparent popularity of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum, favored to win over Republican Ron DeSantis.

It is important to understand that anyone who has committed and been convicted of murder or rape would NOT get back their voting rights, but many felons have non violent convictions, and this is designed to restore their voting rights.

It is also ironic that about two thirds of the people who would regain their voting rights are whites, not African Americans, overcoming the stereotype that only African Americans in the past and in the present commit felonies that are non violent.