The 1.4 million people affected make up almost a tenth of Florida's voting age population, implying potentially serious changes for the 2020 elections in this critical swing state. Those who committed sexual offenses or murder are excluded from having their ability to vote restored.
For many residents, they say although they've paid a price for their crimes, the lingering effects actions are taking a disproportionate toll.
Florida just added 1.4 million potential voters to its rolls by passing Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to people with past felony convictions. I can't cast a vote for anything.
The passage of Amendment Four with the support of 64 percent of voters could reverberate beyond Florida into the 2020 presidential election because of the outsize role the battleground state often plays in deciding close national elections.
The Florida Constitution Revision Commission has labeled the ballot initiative as an "environmental amendment" that promotes clean air and clean water. While some opponents of the amendment are still in favor of speeding up the process, they claim that Amendment 4 will allow former felons to regain their voting rights automatically, without any process.
Basically, casinos would need 60 percent approval to get a casino greenlit, and good luck getting 60 percent of Floridians to do anything at one time outside of drive terribly.
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Florida's felony disenfranchisement laws were, like those in many other states, a vestige of the its racist 19th century "Black Codes", which attempted to systematically criminalize freed slaves following the Civil War, and then bar them from voting.
A spokesman for Republican Governor Rick Scott said at the time that Florida's process for restoring voting rights to felons had been in place for decades and adhered to U.S. Supreme Court precedent.
Scott was running for senator in the state this election cycle due to being term-limited out of office. Almost all states allow felons to vote after completing their sentences.
The move also attracted significant star power from singer John Legend and Orange is the New Black author Piper Kerman.
Activits took to social media after the win to laud the voters, and the amendment.
Others celebrated the long-awaited victory, which could shift Florida's future political climate.
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