State Watch

Ex-felons now able to register to vote in Florida

A new Florida law is scheduled to take effect on Tuesday that will reportedly allow those who have been convicted of felonies to register to vote.

The Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that the new measure, which 64 percent of residents voted to approve last year, will automatically restore voting rights to Floridians with past felony convictions.

According to the local newspaper, offenders who were not convicted of murder or sexual offenses that have also completed “all terms of their sentence including parole or probation” will have their voting rights automatically restored on Tuesday.

{mosads}However, Florida residents who have been convicted of murder or sexual offenses will reportedly be considered individually by the state’s Clemency Review Board. 

Those who do meet the requirements needed to have their voting rights restored automatically will reportedly have to submit a form affirming that their rights have been restored.

But Melba Pearson, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, told the newspaper that “the burden is on the state to do that due diligence and remove you from the rolls if it turns out you are not eligible.”

According to the Sun-Sentinel, the measure’s success is a result of efforts made by social justice and religious groups who have pushed for Florida to join a number of other states that also allow those with felony convictions the right to vote. 

Up until the bill’s enactment, Florida’s laws barring those with felony convictions from voting in the state were among some of the toughest in the United States.

Florida was among other states like Kentucky and Iowa that permanently revoked offenders’ access to the ballot box. 


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