Election Results Florida Passes Amendment to Restore Voting Rights for Most Felons
09 November, 2018, 07:56
Of the approximately 1.4 million people who are now kept out of the voting booth because of a past felony, the most impacted are African-Americans.
Black people were particularly targeted under the previous system.
Previously, ex-felons could go through a hard process to restore their voting rights. He said it furthered his dedication to winning the restoration of rights.
"Over 60% of Florida voters took a stand for fairness and voting rights, and to remove an ugly stain that has been in our state's constitution since the Civil War era", ACLU Executive Director Howard Simon said in a statement.
Update: Tonight voters in Florida voted in favor of restoring voting riots to 1.2 million convicted felons.
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As a result, Florida had disenfranchised more people than any other state, Vox noted.
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In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump won the state over Hillary Clinton by 112,911 votes, or 1.2 percent of the total. In 1968, Florida legislators watered down the rule but kept the ban on felons.
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He said about a third of the 1.4 million people affected are African-American. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the average applicant waited ten years just to get a response to his or her application, and the waiting list swelled to 10,000 people. 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. With Democrats Andrew Gillum and Bill Nelson locked in toss-up races for governor and USA senator respectively, the passage of Amendment 4 is notable as an outlier that could boost the Democratic Party's chances in 2020 and beyond.
The voting restoration amendment excludes those convicted of murder or sex crimes. Supporters say that the Amendment will provide much-needed reform to an overly-punishing system which disproportionately affects African Americans: around 17.9 percent of potential black votes in Florida.
"It's pivotal because I think the culture around voting, especially in communities of color around here is very hostile", Aaron Sykes, community organizer, said.
The amendment will take the power to draw those lines out of the hands of state lawmakers, as the Detroit Free Press explains, and put it into the hands of an independent redistricting commission made up of four Republicans, four Democrats and five people who identify with neither party.
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The Republicans held on to the Senate and narrowly survived a number of big individual races, including in Florida. Democrats are left hoping that the four liberal members of the bench remain in good health for the next two years.
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