Florida voters pass Amendment 3, say we want to decide on gambling

08 November, 2018, 07:54 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Florida residents to vote on felon voter rights initiative

Those with felony convictions will now have their voting rights restored automatically if they've completed their sentences, including parole and probation.

Approval of the amendment ends Florida's outlier status as the state with the most people permanently barred from voting - only two other states ban felons from the polls for life. In 2016, more than 418,000 black people, or or 17.9 percent of potential black voters in Florida couldn't vote due to their past felony convictions, according to Vox. Four out of the five counties with the most felons tend to vote Democrat.

At the beginning of 2018, Floridians for a Fair Democracy collected more than 799,000 certified petition signatures, or about 33,000 more than the group needed to get the measure on the ballot. Amendment 4 was one of 13 ballot initiatives that Floridians considered this year, but it has received the most national attention, as it enfranchises the largest population in US history since women's suffrage.

"Today, when democratic values are on the defensive worldwide", he said, "Florida voters made a resoundingly clear statement that the state's shameful lifetime ban on voting is not consistent with the values of democracy".

"In Florida, elected, partisan officials have extraordinary authority to grant or withhold the right to vote from hundreds of thousands of people without any constraints, guidelines, or standards", the judge said.

An additional 1.2 million voters could be a game-changer in a state with notoriously close races.

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A frequently cited study from 2002 says if Florida had allowed felons to vote, Al Gore might have defeated George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election.

Still, on an evening when liberals and progressives are nervously awaiting results in Florida and around the country, a win for voting rights is a significant victory worthy of celebrating. We applaud the people of Florida!

Most states have some voting restrictions for people convicted of felonies. Instead, the current system requires felons who have completed their sentences to wait five years and then seek clemency from the governor and Cabinet.

What happens to a person convicted of a felony varies from state to state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Essentially, based on research at Ballotpedia.org, which cites both supporters and opposition of the amendment, Florida Amendment 3 is created to take the legislation of gambling out of hands of legislators and put it into the hands of the citizens.

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