1.5M ex-felons to vote in Florida

1.5M ex-felons to vote in Florida

Voters in Florida on Election Day approved a measure that restores the voting rights to roughly 1 million felons.

The ballot initiative for Amendment 4 to Florida's Constitution could majorly affect future elections in the swing state, which has been known for its very tight voting outcomes. Convicted murderers and sex offenders are excluded from the list.

The organization's next goal will be to "end the discrimination of Floridians with convictions".

Florida is one of only four states that permanently disenfranchised former felons. This particular method of disenfranchisement dates back to the Jim Crow era and and hit a peak during the 1970s.

People with felony convictions who complete their sentence and the terms of their release will now automatically have their voting rights restored. Under the previous system, a convicted felon would have to wait five years after completing their sentence before requesting clemency.

Florida has never had an automatic restoration process, though many say under Gov. Rick Scott's administration the steps to have voting right restored grew even more restrictive.

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.

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