restoration of civil rights

MGN Online

A panel of Florida lawmakers began a discussion this week to consider automatically restoring the civil rights of ex-felons who committed nonviolent crimes.

Erik Hersman via Flickr

Two of Florida’s election supervisors are backing an initiative to restore voting rights for ex-felons.  Broward and Leon County’s supervisors are urging the state supreme court to certify the proposal for the 2018 ballot. 

Rev. Gregory James speaking at the election supervisor's office.
Nick Evans

With the primary election fast approaching voting rights activists are raising awareness about men and women who won’t be able to participate.  They’re pushing to restore voting rights for felons who have served their time.

The Sentencing Project / http://www.sentencingproject.org/template/page.cfm?id=133

This Tuesday, Florida voters weighed in on who should be the next president of the United States. But some 1.5 million Floridians are left out of that voting process: convicted felons.

The Legislature is loosening its get-tough-on-crime attitude, allowing more non-violent juveniles to avoid felony records. Figures show Governor Rick Scott and the Cabinet are going in the opposite direction when it comes to restoring civil rights for ex-felons.

LHatter / WFSU News

Florida’s ongoing tussle with voting rights took a front seat at Tallahassee’s 10th annual mayor’s summit Tuesday.

In the past four years, the Scott administration has put a stop to the semi-automatic restoration of felon voting rights, and tried to purge the state’s voter rolls of non-citizens. Those topics divided the crowd. Nita Kirkpatrick of Tallahassee says she has friends who split their residency between Florida and other states and vote in both places:

One -in-ten Florida adults can’t vote due to a felony conviction. That’s the highest rate in the nation according a report released by the Sentencing Project, an advocate for voting rights.

The report found that more than a million felons who served their time in prison were disenfranchised in Florida in 2012. Most states restore voting rights automatically once a felon leaves prison.