Floridians vote to restore voting rights to most felons

Election Results Florida Passes Amendment to Restore Voting Rights for Most Felons

Election Results Florida Passes Amendment to Restore Voting Rights for Most Felons

The idea of giving voting rights to violent felons like murderers and sex criminals isn't particularly a savory idea, but Oliver notes that only 18% of felons fall into that category-and Florida's amendment doesn't apply to them anyway.

Before the result, Florida was one of the four states that did not restore voting rights to felons after serving their sentences.

"'Kol hakavod' to the Reform Jewish communities in Florida - and across the USA - who organized and mobilized to make this happen", the national Religious Action Center said on Twitter, using the Hebrew term for "well done".

Now, at least 1.4 million residents in the state have the opportunity to participate in the election process again - or for the first time.

A number of major Jewish philanthropists contributed to the campaign, including George Soros, Seth Klarman and Stacy Schusterman. More than 1 in 5 African-Americans in the state are disenfranchised because of the policy, according to an estimate from The Sentencing Project.

"As expected, Floridians have affirmed that they are opposed to offshore oil drilling and furthermore believe that they have the right to breath clean air when in enclosed workspaces", said Constitution Revision Commission member Lisa Carlton, a former state senator, said in a statement to The News Service of Florida.

More news: What To Do If You Run Into Problems At The Polls

Across the United States, a patchwork of laws impacts formerly incarcerated people from voting. In April, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo restored the voting rights of an estimated 24,000 people who are now on probation or parole.

Scott was running for senator in the state this election cycle due to being term-limited out of office.

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.

The measure, which needed 60 percent to pass, garnered more than 64 percent of the vote supporting constitutional Amendment 4, known as the voting rights restoration initiative.

In March, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker issued an injunction for Scott to initiate a new clemency system to restore felons' voter rights by April.

Per usual, the key races in Florida are nail biters. For years, the vast majority of disenfranchised felons were non-violent offenders who served their sentences, but were still unable to vote.

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