Florida Approves Ballot Measure Restoring Felons' Voting Rights

Tuesday's elections were seen as a referendum on Trump

Tuesday's elections were seen as a referendum on Trump

The only offenders who will be exempt are those who committed murder or sexual crimes.

The passing of Florida's Amendment 4 will restore over a million former felons' right to vote in future elections.

Any proposed new casinos in Florida will now have to get 60 percent of Floridian's votes on the ballot to get approved.

Previously, Florida was one of three states-along with Iowa and Kentucky-that barred anyone who has committed a felony from voting.

Climate change was an issue in Arizona, where voters defeated a measure that would have required 50 percent of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. 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.

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.

It is impossible to talk about Amendment 4's passage without noting its political impact one day after the state's two top Democrats apparently lost by very close margins-even though the moral and inspiration dimensions of the campaign can not be ignored. According to nonprofit group, Public Citizen, this not only "repeal [s] one of the country's worst Jim Crow laws, it's also the largest expansion in voting rights since the Voting Rights Act".

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Florida voters have regularly swung between supporting Republican and Democratic presidential candidates over the past few decades.

Orlando resident Desmond Meade pulled off a Herculean feat by leading the passage of the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative movement - also known as Florida's Amendment 4.

Another gambling amendment Florida voters approved Tuesday was Amendment 3.

Florida's measure on felon voting rights was among those placed on the ballot by citizen initiative. Black people were five times more likely to be stripped of their voting rights than white voters in 2017.

"Florida voters have kicked open the doors of Tallahassee's back rooms and demanded an end to gambling industry influence in the hallways of the capitol", Sowinski said in a prepared statement.

"One state - Florida - held the balance of power", the authors concluded.

But even after Amendment 4, advocates say there is still more work ahead. Felons who lose their rights must wait five years to apply for restoration.

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