Almost 1.5M felons in Florida have regained the right to vote

Election Results Florida Passes Amendment to Restore Voting Rights for Most Felons

Election Results Florida Passes Amendment to Restore Voting Rights for Most Felons

Meade, an Orlando resident, led the effort to put Amendment 4 on the ballot this year by gathering at least 766,200 verified signatures, after previous legislators failed to push the measure beyond the Supreme Court.

Amendment 4 passed by 64 percent and would re-enfranchise all felons in the state, save those convicted of murder or sex offenses.

Floridians on Tuesday overthrew a relic of disenfranchisement in passing Amendment 4, which automatically restores the right to vote for most felons.

"'Kol hakavod' to the Reform Jewish communities in Florida - and across the US - who organized and mobilized to make this happen", the national Religious Action Center said on Twitter, using the Hebrew term for "well done".

Thirty-three states have various laws disenfranchising felony offenders and those under law enforcement supervision, impacting an estimated 6.1 million potential voters, according to a 2016 Sentencing Project report.

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. Although they make up only 16 percent of the population according to the 2010 Census, black people make up 43 percent of Florida's inmate population, according to the latest yearly report from the Florida Department of Corrections.

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

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

In Florida, as in most of the U.S., black people are arrested, convicted and jailed in disproportionate numbers. While more than 150,000 people had their voting rights restored under Gov. Charlie Crist, Scott's predecessor, that number dwindled to just a few thousand under Scott.

In February, a federal judge ruled the state's policy requiring felons to petition the government to have their voting rights restored was unconstitutional because it was lengthy, arbitrary and forced them to "kow-tow" to the whims of state politicians.

According to the Florida state department, roughly 13 million citizens are registered to vote, with both Republicans and Democrats having almost 5 million party members each.

Shortly after Amendment 4 passed, Trump-aligned Republican Ron DeSantis narrowly defeated progressive Democrat Andrew Gillum in the race for Florida governor.

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