Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024

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WTH? Floridians Vote to Restore Voting Rights to 1.4 Million Felons

WTH? Floridians Vote to Restore Voting Rights to 1.4 Million Felons

Editor’s Note: Originally published on Election Night.

Floridians just voted overwhelmingly in favor of a Koch brothers and ACLU-backed proposal to give over a million felons the right to vote, which will potentially ensure Trump loses the state in 2020.

Though Republicans are currently leading in the Senate and Governor’s race, Republicans must have not realized this is handing Democrats potentially over a hundred thousand or more votes.

The measure needed 60% to pass and they got 64.1% currently with 84% reporting according to the New York Times:

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From Vox:

Florida voters during Tuesday’s midterm elections approved Amendment 4, automatically restoring voting rights in the state for people previously convicted of felonies.

Florida’s Amendment 4 restores voting rights for people in the state convicted of felonies as long as they have completed their sentences, although anyone convicted of murder or felony sex offenses would be excluded.

Based on the Sentencing Project’s 2016 estimates, this benefits more than a million people. The organization estimated in 2016 that nearly 1.5 million people in Florida have completed felony sentences but can’t vote — about 9.2 percent of the voting-age population in Florida. The total, though, includes some people convicted of murder and felony sex offenses, so not every one of those people benefits under Amendment 4.

Black people, who are disproportionately arrested and incarcerated, will benefit the most. In 2016, more than 418,000 black people out of a black voting-age population of more than 2.3 million, or 17.9 percent of potential black voters in Florida, had finished sentences but couldn’t vote due to a felony record, according to the Sentencing Project. (Again, this includes some people convicted of murders and felony sex offenses.)

The amendment was officially supported by Floridians for a Fair Democracy, which gathered more than 1.1 million petitions to put it on the ballot. It received bipartisan endorsements from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Koch brothers–backed Freedom Partners.

GOP governor candidate Ron DeSantis and GOP Senate candidate Rick Scott are only leading right now by around 70,000 to 90,000 votes. That entire lead could easily evaporate if this law was already in effect.

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