Poll: Most Floridians back measure to restore voting rights for ex-felons

A majority of Florida voters support a proposition on the ballot in November that would restore voting rights to convicted felons, a poll released Monday showed.

A University of North Florida poll found that 71 percent of likely Florida voters said they would vote in favor of the proposition, compared to 21 percent who said they'd vote "no." The proposal received majority support among Democrats and Republicans, as well as multiple demographic groups.

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Among Democrats, 83 percent said they would support the restoration of voting rights, and 10 percent said they'd vote against the measure, while 62 percent of Republicans said they'd support the proposal and 31 indicated they'd oppose it.

The survey also found that the majority of white, black and Hispanic voters would back the measure.

Among white voters, 69 percent said they would vote "yes" on the proposition, while 65 percent of Hispanic voters. Among black voters, and overwhelming 82 percent said they would back the proposal.

“These results reflect the status of African-Americans as the population most directly affected by Florida’s felon disenfranchisement laws,” Natasha Christie, chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at UNF, said in a news release.

“With such a large majority of likely voters saying they would vote 'yes' on Amendment 4, this indicates views on this issue are becoming more progressive overall throughout the state, regardless of race," Christie added.

The proposal was added to the ballot earlier this year after a petition garnered roughly 800,000 signatures. Sixty percent of voters would have to approve the amendment in November for it to pass.

The amendment would not apply to those who were convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

The law varies from state-to-state on when, if ever, convicted felons are able to regain their voting rights.