One out of every 13 African-Americans in the US has lost their voting rights due to felony disenfranchisement laws, compared to one in every 56 non-black voters, the Sentencing Project report said. The amendment exempts those convicted of sex offenses and murder.
For many residents, they say although they've paid a price for their crimes, the lingering effects actions are taking a disproportionate toll.
- Florida voters approved a ballot measure Tuesday night that will restore voting rights to an estimated 1.4 million people with felony records in the critical swing state. I can't cast a vote for anything.
While many voters on the left side of the spectrum are having mixed feelings about some of the midterm turnouts, voters in Florida made history voting in a progressive piece of legislation known as Amendment 4. "In the days and weeks ahead we will seek to work with newly elected Governor to ensure that Amendment 4 is implemented as intended by the Floridians who placed it on the ballot and voted to approve it-without delay and without imposing more burdens on the process to register to vote".
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. Florida also accounts for a quarter of the disenfranchised population in the United States, according to the Sentencing Project. Blocking felons from voting while also passing criminal codes that targeted black people was a strategy to keep African-Americans from the ballot box.
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 boasted in Clemency Board meetings, where he presided alongside the three state Cabinet members, that "there's absolutely no standards so we can make any decisions we want".
The implications for the state's elections are enormous. In April, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo restored the voting rights of an estimated 24,000 people who are now on probation or parole.
Per usual, the key races in Florida are nail biters. The current process can take more than 10 years to complete and because of the restrictive laws, Florida once barred more former felons than any other state.
Others celebrated the long-awaited victory, which could shift Florida's future political climate.