Will Florida’s Ex-Felons Finally Regain the Right to Vote?

A referendum on the November ballot in Florida would re-enfranchise 1.5 million citizens — and could change the state’s electorate.

Comments: 121

  1. Weopine: Alienation, prohibiting voting by a former felon can and probably does cause negative, emotional, repercussions. Upon completion of the sentence, the felon's debt to society has been paid and, therefore, the removal of any post-custody shackles preventing her/his participation in it.

  2. @Drs. Peo and Mandrill Balanitis, and Srs. Basha and Wewe Kutomba Exactly. What's the point of rehabilitation if, even when you get out of prison, you're going to be treated like a criminal, denied rights and a job, for the rest of your life? What incentive is there for released felon to change their life for the better, if no matter what they do they will be treated the same regardless. It's the same as the way we make it so difficult for ex-cons to get legitimate jobs, which in turn leave them very few options except for turning back to crime.

  3. amazing ... I recall clearly in the 10th grade (1979) I asked my social studies teacher why felons weren't allowed to vote ... his response they committed a crime ... in my youth I seldom questioned the norms of society .... today I question everything ... you served your time etc.. you owe society no more debts, all rights privileges restored automatically ... common sense right?

  4. @Ken Morrison No. A felony is such an affront to society that you have severed your right to be part of the electorate that guides society. There is a very easy way to not lose your right to vote: don’t commit felonies.

  5. @QED Can you please cite the clause in the Constitution that states a citizen's right to vote is automatically and permanently forfeit once they are convicted of a felony?

  6. @QED People aren't robots. They act because of passions. Including pass laws that make misdemeanors felonies, and commit crimes because they meet the wrong people. But who am I talking to? But some comments seem robotic. Why?

  7. By all means, watch the John Oliver segment on this, and check out the capriciousness (at best) of the process that denies people their right after they have served their time. It's so patently biased, quite obviously lacking in any kind of standards, and can easily be interpreted as political in nature, preventing people from regaining vote access that would tip the balance of power in the state. Watching the four person board, and Rik Scott in particular, in action, is appalling, but quite telling.

  8. @Gee https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpPyLcQ2vdI See it here, and weep.

  9. @Gee I happen to disagree with your comments. I had a 14 daughter year old raped. The convicted man should not help lead our country. Democrats are for this so they can get elected. I wonder if democrats have on no morals.

  10. Sadly the efforts to disenfranchise voters extends well beyond prison and people who have done time. The GOP's mass efforts to suppress the vote have gained steam with the Supreme Court's recent ruling in Ohio's case to legalize voter roll purges. Voter disenfranchisement and barriers to voting work against the foundations of democracy. I hope that these efforts in Florida and elsewhere are successful in reinstating this fundamental right. Thank you, Emily Bazelon and the NY Times, for your coverage! https://www.npr.org/2018/06/11/618870982/supreme-court-upholds-controver... https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/11/17448742/ohio-voter-pu...

  11. The article states of the Florida voter role purge: "if they had remained on the rolls, the election might have been decided differently" Not likely. The supreme court stopped the recount, so the actual numbers didn't and don't matter.

  12. @Ken A recount would have probably not been necessary.

  13. I think only the felons' VICTIMS and their families should be allowed to make this decision.

  14. @me Really? So a guy burglarizes your house, and after he's served his time in prison you should still get to decide whether or not he can vote for the rest of his life?

  15. @Sam Rosenberg Why not?

  16. @Sam Rosenberg Unlike liberals, I think crime victims and their survivors should have more rights than the people who harmed them.

  17. What are the issues most important to ex-felons? What policies are they most passionate about? Education, crime, police brutality, net neutrality, immigration, climate change...what? And by the way - as an Independent, I (a citizen with no criminal record) am prevented from voting in election primaries here in NY.

  18. @Mr. Slater I imagine, since each of them is an individual with their own passions, concerns, and desires, they each have their own issues that they are passionate about. Some probably care about prison reform, others about climate change, and others about education policy. Who can know, without speaking to them individually. As for the open/closed primary issue, that argument is a little ridiculous. You are not disenfranchised. Why should someone who is not a member of the Democratic Party get to choose who the Democratic Party nominates to run in a particular election? There's no reasonable justification for an open primary, except to give me the ability to vote in the Republican primary for the weakest candidate in order to try and sabotage their chances of winning a general election. And if the only purpose of an open primary is allowing voters with a grievance to sabotage one party or the other, how does the electorate gain anything from that?

  19. New poll shows 71% will vote yes and 22% will vote no. Needs 60% to become law. Finally.

  20. Felon disenfranchisement has to end. We need to give people an incentive to make their voices heard.

  21. They can count on my and all my family's vote in November, we are all Florida residents.

  22. So, my liberal friends, once you serve your time you get all your rights back? If you were convicted of a non-violent felony then you should get your gun rights back? Just asking ....

  23. @Armas If you were convicted of a non-violent felony you absolutely should get your right to bear arms back (along with your right to vote) once you've served your sentence and been released from prison. Personally, I think that the felons who should be barred from owning guns are only the ones who commit gun crimes. Similarly, I believe that the only felons who should be barred from voting, are those who have committed voting-related crimes.

  24. @Armas Upon completion of prison sentence and post-incarceration supervision, ALL rights should unequivocally be restored in full. (I also believe that if you’ve done your time, and commit no more crimes, after 5-10 years, depending on the crime, you’re record should be automatically expunged from the public record, with only federal law enforcement being able to access it—and that only for security background checks, or after getting a warrant signed by a judge for specific cause).

  25. Would be wonderful if this passed. They've served their time and should enjoy the basic right to vote.

  26. 1.5 million more democrats. Yay

  27. Citizens who are not allowed to vote. The US continues to amaze me.

  28. People who've served their time should not be disenfranchised for life. How on Earth is that Constitutional? (We know Kavanaugh, a potential felon himself - perjury, sexual assault, etc - would rule that these mainly poor and working class people don't deserve to socially exist. Another reason to oppose his crazy nomination.) In any event, this is literally a hangover from antebellum slave times and the subsequent "wrap around" clause in the 13th Amendment. However, the removal from the civic and social life of the nation - benefits, voting, work - cannot be indefinite. We are asking that people serve lifetime sentences, long after they are officially released. And that's a moderate position: I would argue that people currently in prison be given the right to vote. France does it. California is implementing it for people in jail (not prison). As a formerly incarcerated person, a philosopher and someone who went into prison from a "middle class" world, there is definitely not just a sense, but a very real experience of being in some alternate universe. Prison does not work. Ergo, I'm an abolitionist, yet in order to bridge the gap between the millions in cages and "the outside", the vote is a start.

  29. @Tony Cochran It's not Constitutional. But when has that ever stopped Republicans from doing anything?

  30. "Ex-felons"? Is everyone getting pardons? No? Then they are felons. Nice try. My my how the agitprop grows bolder.

  31. @CK They served their time, they paid the penalty. These are not the murderers and rapists, those people are still not eligible. Why not allow people to participate in our democracy?

  32. @Jill - Why tell me? I don't oppose it. I oppose propagandist abuse of the language.

  33. Scratching my head: so, the same people who were shocked and outraged when a man convicted of sending online messages to a teenager, and who was then prosecuted and served his sentence in prison, was hired to play a small part in a movie.....and whose outcry led the director to erase the scene in which this man acted.....and of course to apologize to the media and the other outraged (shocked, just shocked!) actors who were forced to work with him..... OK: so this man should, apparently, never be allowed to work again....(see: https://mashable.com/article/fox-predator-shane-black-cut-scene/#3LORsc6... But all former felons, no matter what their crime, should be allowed to vote? What am I missing here?

  34. @RLiss, the article clearly states that Proposition 4 would not restore voting rights to felons convicted of murder or sex offenses. I think that's what you're missing here.

  35. Re-enfranchising felons would likely mean that mean that Democrats would gain by that action. Remember, in 2000, it was ChoicePoint System's actions to disenfranchise thousands of voters (with erroneous claims of felony convictions) that allowed Bush to "win" Florida by the infamous 537 votes. http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/florida-voters-mistak... Ergo, I think that Florida is unlikely to do this, no matter how morally correct the action would be. But maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised?

  36. This is precisely why referendum and initiative powers should be available & uniform in all 50 states. Via referendum & initiative, the people are able to defeat defective legislation and propose laws their "so called" representatives fail to enact.

  37. Hopefully not, these citizens gave up their right to vote when they decided to commit their horrendous crimes, as we say, there are consequences for your actions. Don't come crying to us because you broke the law.

  38. @There They have paid their debt to society. If they are working and paying taxes like everyone else, they should be able to vote as well.

  39. @Lynn in DC There is no justice to the victims - citizens those felons harmed.

  40. Pretty sad if you have to rely on votes from felons to win elections.

  41. @M So you read the entire story and still don't understand it?

  42. @M Pretty sad if the only way you can win is by preventing minority and low-income citizens from voting.

  43. @M Can you cite the clause in the Constitution that states a citizen can be permanently stripped of their right to vote after being convicted of a felony? Here, I'll save you the trouble: there isn't one.

  44. Restoring voting rights for 'felons' is a broad brush. Non violent white collar felons are very different that murderers and sex offenders especially when most polling places are in schools used often when kids are in attendance. How do you protect their rights?

  45. It is ridiculous to think that someone coming to vote is going to sneak into classrooms and assault a child.

  46. Murderers and sex offenders will not regain their right to vote if this is passed. So... That’s how.

  47. @CNNNNC did you miss the part about how the amendment does NOT restore the voting rights of felons convicted of murder or sex offenses?

  48. This comprehensive article chronicles the efforts of former felons to win the vote statewide in Florida. Currently there are small efforts to re-enfranchise felons throughout the South, but the numbers just aren't there. Desmond Meade emphasizes that former felons have served their time and should be treated as legitimate citizens. Participating in the legitimate right to vote would be a great boost to their self esteem. I have been supporting these initiatives for decades, and sincerely hope that citizens who have committed non-violet crimes in Florida and other states win the right to vote on election days.

  49. Only if they are republicans and will vote for Trump.

  50. No taxation without representation.

  51. This discussion suggests that Volz still supports the Republican Party. After everything he has gone through, how is that even possible?

  52. How is it that a state can disenfranchise some people from voting in a federal election? Why are there essentially 50 standards for who can vote for a federal office holder? Martha Stewart can vote after time served, but someone in another state with a simple possession of marijuana cannot? Those who are formerly incarcerated, having paid their debt to society, are still treated by many as still being criminals. They aren't. Their rights are restored. That should include voting.

  53. The one group of criminals that NEVER get a break, even from liberals and even from this proposed amendment in Florida, are those convicted of sex crimes. They too, have paid their debt to society when they are released from prison, but they are the modern untouchables. The classification is slapped for life on people with wildly different criminal histories (example: an 18 year-old who has consensual sex with a 16 year-old, or someone guilty of public urination), and are subject to the largely incorrect myth that they are high recidivism risks. They are not allowed to live or work anywhere and can be reimprisoned for minor sex crime registry issues (like not having a correct address - duh, they're homeless!). Can you even imagine a politician going out on a limb and advocating for reform of our treatment of untouchables? Of course not.

  54. Republicans are afraid to give ex felons the right to vote because they know these Floridians will vote against them. Some states, once the felon leaves prison, they can vote. Rick Scott is running scared and others like Pam Bondy, the attorney general will probably end up working for Fox or Trump. The 1,500,000 ex felons will soon have their chance to be Americans voting for their preferences that will probably be for Democrats.

  55. @Tonjo Speaks volumes about Democrats

  56. @Tonjo ‘The 1,500,000 ex felons will soon have their chance to be Americans voting for their preferences that will probably be for Democrats’ Is that something to be proud of?

  57. @M @CNNNNC The operative word here is EX. The Democrats have a big tent and try to help all (even non-Dems) be the most productive they can be for society. All the Republicans have is a straight jacket.

  58. I'd like to see some numbers on how many felons voted before they lost the right to vote. My money says very few.

  59. @Gary P. Arsenault Whether your assumption is accurate or not Mr. Arsenault, in the end, shouldn't released felons still have the choice whether to vote or not?

  60. Voting rights should never have been abrogated in the first place, let alone not restoring them after the debt to society has been paid. Isn't this the very definition of taxation without representation?

  61. Ex-felons fight for the right to vote while the majority of eligible voters do not care about elections

  62. So, I guess here in Florida convicted felons who have served their time also pay no taxes right?...Oh, wait, they do. No taxation without representation. Do the right thing here Florida.

  63. @JAA "No taxation without representation" Here in the US the payment for any crime is among the highest in the world, due to Judges having investment in the prison industry. Some judges, even in democratic states like Washington, multiply the prosecutor's requested sentencing time by five. But taxpayer's must like to pay the taxes to support these extremely corrupt judges! I wonder if they have any idea how much it costs the taxpayers to support the largest prison population in the world? All other civilized countries in the world have much lower sentences and would you believe, fare lower crime rate as well.

  64. Unless a felon did time involving voter fraud or a facsimile thereof, why shouldn't a convicted felon have the right to vote once he or she has been released from prison? They did the time for their crime, so why not allow them to move forward and allow their voices and votes to be heard and seen?

  65. I agree. Felons who have paid their debt to society should be allowed to vote. People whining about an increase in Democratic votes should realize that Florida is changing even without this referendum. Fewer people will be able to retire so the pool of white retirees that the Republican party relies upon will become smaller and smaller and eventually die out. The younger nonwhite people, some with families, and others tired of the Beast in Florida's last gasp aka Stand Your Ground and "Florida man" stories that make the state the butt of jokes will completely change Florida politics. Get used to it. #PeopleGetReady #GovernorGillum

  66. This excellent article states that in 1865, William Marvin, provisional governor of Florida argued that the abolition of slavery did not mean free black people could vote. “The governing power is in the hands of the white race." That last quote certainly continues to ring true 153 years later. In November 2018, however, it is about time for free black, white and Hispanic ex offenders to finally have their voting rights restored here in Florida despite that 'governing power' which still prevails. The State of Florida should realize that this is not 1865 and join the majority of states in this "post Civil War" nation who have rightfully restored voting rights to their citizens. The passage of Amendment 4 will be yet another step toward providing liberty and justice for all. It's about time.

  67. What, pray tell, is a former or ex-felon? Is that like an ex-rapist, or a former murderer?

  68. @Michael: An ex-felon is one who was convicted of a felony and served their time. This is not just violent offenders, please remember, but also, say, those who had a fake ID in college or got caught with marijuana, which is now legal in several states, etc. Should the folks who have committed these types of crimes and served their time really not have the right to civic engagement for the rest of their lives?

  69. Rapist and murderers are excluded.

  70. @Michael While agree that a rapist kinda deserves to carry that label long term, lets say you’re 18 and you and your friends decide to steal a stop sign, get caught doing so, and are convicted of felony larceny. Would you consider it right and fair to be referred to as a convicted felon 20 or 30 years later after committing no more crimes? What about if you worked as a garbage man for 6 months, and then, after years of a career as a teacher, fireman, sales manager or whatever, should you always be referred to as an “ex-garbage man”? How long should a former incarnation of yourself define your life?

  71. I apologize if I'm stirring the pot when asking why an African-American gentleman is pictured when addressing Florida's ex-felons and the possibility of them being able to have the right to vote again. Am I being overly sensitive or is this a racially biased stereotype?

  72. Sadly that was the intended group to disenfranchise Black and brown

  73. I consider this a pro-life issue for Christians. Do Christians really care about ensuring that everyone lives a good and full life? Or are they more concerned with excluding the sinners?

  74. As a Christian I 100% support the right for ex felons to vote. I have family members that still can't vote because of past charges that they have served their time for. It is insane to think that they are living in America, paying taxes, and have served their sentences but still cannot vote. I don't understand how any Gospel centered follower of Christ would think they shouldn't get their rights back.

  75. I am in favor of restoring voting rights to ex-felons who have completed their sentences, and that includes convicted sex-offenders and murderers. If the criminal justice system has determined that they have fulfilled their debt to society and allows them to live among the public, they should have the right to vote just like everybody else.

  76. This should be framed: When asked if it re-enfranchisement undermines his conservative policy goals, Volz said “You have to cross a line ... Do you believe that it’s better that more people vote, or not? I crossed that line long ago.” Cross that line. And this may be a key to understanding why Americans don't vote: "You come to me talking about going out to vote, it’s like you slapping me in my face, reminding me I’m not part of society. So to mask that pain, ’cause I don’t want to tell you I’m a felon, I’m going to say, ‘Man, your vote don’t count.’ ” Even if you're not a felon, being unemployed, living on the fringe, working low-wage jobs ... cause I believe society thinks I'm a failure, I'll say your vote don't count. “The results suggest that reversing disenfranchisement causes citizens to increase their pro-democratic attitudes and behaviors — all of which are predictors of reduced recidivism.” Probably more than that. Increasing minimum wage, enabling second chance education and affordable housing, causes citizens to support democracy.

  77. I am a felon—not an ex-felon. I will be a felon for the rest of my life, for decisions that I made nearly half my life ago. When I left the state of Virginia in 2005, it was still very difficult for felons to regain their right to vote. I relocated to NC, where I was able to register to vote immediately after completing my 3 years of probation. I would never live in a place where I wasn't allowed to exercise that right, but many people do not have the luxury to make that choice. As someone mentioned elsewhere in this thread, the recent John Oliver bit on Florida's process for restoring voting rights does an excellent job of illuminating the arbitrary and punitive process. It is a must watch. And as for those who believe that felons should never regain this partial restoration of their civil rights, I would ask you to reconsider. It does require that you look at people with felony convictions as human beings with the potential to contribute. For so many reasons that I cannot begin to explain in the allowed character count, I will only say that it's in your best interest to see us that way. Show some grace.

  78. While I believe every citizen should have the right to vote, I hate the way language is manipulated. A felon has been convicted of a felony. No such thing as an ex-felon or an ex-offender.

  79. If you are not allowed to vote, they have taken a most important part of your citizenship. You are only Three-Fifths of a person. Now what kind of "citizens" would do this to another?

  80. The practice of stripping felons of the right to vote after they have served their prison time and successfully completed any parole and/or probationary time puts the lie to the idea that they are welcomed back as full members of society. But, in reality, while they are welcomed into all aspects of the social side of society, they are excluded from its polity because in our democracy voting is primary way that most people use to express their voice in how society should be governed. This scheme is particularly repugnant because they are not excluded from the census, in other words, their bodies are counted in determining representation and how their taxes will be spent, but their voices are unjustly silenced.

  81. What does a crime for which you have served your punishment have to do with voting? Let's be real: Republican policy is to keep black people from voting. Pure and simple.

  82. @Mike and black help the Republicans with this trickery by not being involved in the process and not voting.

  83. WOW, @Nic, haven’t read the exit poll demographics in the last five or so years, have you? Clumping Black people together wholly without reading the disaggregation of voting statistics by gender will lead to your conclusion.

  84. This country has constantly suppressed the rights of non whites while media promotes it as a”free country” and beacon of liberty That’s pure propaganda America needs to hold itself accountable Criminal justice reform requires the democratic participation of those who have been affected Otw it’s just tyranny Voters who are never subject to the police or prison industry will vote a certain way. Meanwhile those who are surely affected have no voice This all fits with America’s history when slavery was abolished for decades... It’s gotta stop

  85. Important article. You can't call if a democracy if people are denied the right to vote. When some states have restored the civil rights of ex-felons and others have not, you know there are clearly racial and partisan reasons for denial of voting rights by states like Florida. It's long past time to end this injustice.

  86. @Charles You can't call the U.S. a civil society with so many criminals and so much predation forced upon the good people by the bad people, either. Look at recidivism rates. Some men are born bad and others relish it. Either way, they ought not be handed another weapon to destroy what little is left among the good folk who already barely sleep well at night because of these men.

  87. Interesting that Democrats believe giving felons the right to vote will result in more Democratic votes. Is there so much evidence that most felons are Democrats? Is there something about being a Democrats that inclines people to commit felonies?

  88. @Rick If that weren't the case, the party of voter suppression wouldn't be fighting so hard to keep them from voting. Brazen and shameful....again.

  89. The obvious fact is that criminals, detected and undetected are a natural constituency of the Democratic Party. They have many characteristics in common with Democratic politicians; substance abuse, sexual predation, dishonesty, larceny, fraud, and a commitment to allowing the government to provide their support. Hopefully Floridians will reject allowing felons to vote.

  90. @John Quinn I think you are talking about trump and Roy Moore.

  91. @John Quinn. So someone commits a crime at 18 years old, serves their time, and is paroled. As the years go by, they reform, pay their taxes, and volunteer in community service. In short, they are fine upstanding citizens. And yet you would show them no mercy. nor forgiveness in regards to their ability to vote. Well then, you may receive the same lack of forgiveness upon your own judgement day. Judge not lest ye be judged.

  92. @Carla No. I was taking about Bill Clinton and Anthony Wiener.

  93. The practice of stripping felons of the right to vote after they have served their prison time and successfully completed any parole and/or probationary time puts the lie to the idea that they are welcomed back as full members of society. But, in reality, while they are welcomed into all aspects of the social side of society, they are excluded from its polity because in our democracy voting is primary way that most people use to express their voice in how society should be governed.

  94. I am for the felons to be able to vote in every state. They did their time and penalty and I am sure will be future Democrats after they saw how prejudice the GOP states and evangelical states are to them. The evangelicals think they are better than the ex convicts. Not in God's eye. We are all equal.

  95. Terrific article, Emily. You covered all the bases: historical, legal, and personal. Anyone who does not support the right to vote movement for felons after reading your article, is either racist or doesn't believe in democracy.

  96. As far as I know, this is already decided in favor of the ex-felons rights. Floridians will massively vote for common sense and justice.

  97. If a felon is released from prison, he or she should be just as free as anyone else. You've served your time, paid your debt to society, and ought to be welcomed back. Anyone who says otherwise is looking at the problem wrong; if these folks still aren't deserving of the same rights as the rest of us, why did we release them from prison in the first place?

  98. I learned that you can be convicted of a felony in Florida for stealing $300 worth of goods. It's not right to steal but to lose your ability to vote for life because you stole a TV as a teenager. That is equally not right! The GOP wants this to remain because they fear these voters in 2020. If you served your term you should be able to vote. Vote like your life depends on it this year...it does!

  99. Wow so excuse me - now a parade of liberals will call on ex-felons to get the right to vote. Hey, we shouldn't let their bad past destroy their lives right? But when it comes to Kavanaugh, he must be destroyed!

  100. @Dave Kavanaugh's perjury is in the here and now.

  101. The Confederate traitors waged war on the US, yet kept their right to vote. THAT is the moral bar.

  102. The moral bar for restoring the voting rights of felons was set after the War of Southern Treason. All the Confederate traitors kept their voting rights, even thought they waged war on out Union, even though they engaged in mass killings and rapes of freed slaves. They were allowed to vote. That is the moral bar we set. No convicted felon in Florida, no one in prison, even those on death row, did anything worse than the Confederate traitors. That is the standard we set. So to the angry man whose dog is a Republican...we don't care, deal with it.

  103. @Garak Read a history book. Southerners were not traitors, be they soldier or civilian. At Appommatox (Virginia courthouse), Grant and Lee settled this with equal measures of intelligence and sorrow from mutual loss. Those generals drafted the settlement that provided all soldiers on both sides could return home and live peaceful lives in the U.S. as the fellow citizens and neighbors they'd once been. To do otherwise would form 2 countries, which has obvious drawbacks. Both armies had fought admirably and both sides, the south more than the north, had lost so many sons, husbands and civilian lives that it would serve no purpose to sever what had been the half with the most money and power, simply because they had the smaller army and lost to death and injury the most men.

  104. @Margot They were all traitors and should have all been hung, starting with Lee.

  105. You have to give the Democrats credit....they know where their votes are

  106. The Democrats have reached a new low calling for ex-felons to have the right to vote. It is mislabeled as a "right." It should be called a "privilege."

  107. @steve Voting is a right, not a privilege reserved for rightwing nutcases and their Russian backers.

  108. So, you are a felon. You want to vote ? Will you take a civics and citizenship course ? Yes or No....

  109. @Tom ,Retired Florida JunkmaYes, if required of all voters.

  110. I agree, if a felon commits a crime, does his/her time, and now is free, they should have their privilege to vote restored. According to the article, by reinstating an “ex-felon” the right to vote, very well may have changed the course of history. Every citizen of the U.S. is entitled to vote. The challenge is that a lot of people just don’t get out and do it. If EVERYONE voted, where would this country be now? If term limits were adjusted accordingly, and members of SCOTUS were subject to term limits, and perhaps the electoral college revised or done away with - l we have greater turn out at the polls because every vote counts. Election Day should be federal holiday so that everyone has the opportunity to vote.

  111. Yes. To lose ones right to vote for let's say stealing a TV at age 18 makes no sense. The GOP will rail against this because in FL if felons get the vote they will help vote out the GOP.

  112. Over 60% of felons are repeat offenders. Should they be allowed to vote between their incarceration? Really?

  113. Read the whole article, especially the end. People might be less likely to commit crime again if they're allowed to fully reintegrate back into society.

  114. @Addie Integrate away.....get a job, an education, and top being a predator, please. But those men do not get to determine how the rest of society lives - we've already been victimized and live in fear of these men every day. Criminal males have essentially formed the U.S. in their image in all our daily lives, be it double dead bolts everywhere or not being able to let our kids play outside in their own front yard.

  115. Where we have a sex offender for President, and possibly a justice at the Supreme Court as well. If it is allowed to have a sex offender, who never served time for the offense, for President , why shouldn't all offenders, including sex offenders have the right to vote? After all, civilized countries in the rest of the world allows prisoners the right to vote. On the other hand, I do not think we should have a sex offender, who most likely committed other crimes as well, to serve as President. It just looks horrible in the eyes of the rest of the civilized world.

  116. If the felon has done their time, then let them vote again. The only exceptions should be for felonies like sexual assault or murder.

  117. How can we support this movement if living in Los Angeles, CA?

  118. I could never understand why just because someone has been convicted of a crime they lose their right to vote.

  119. @DC Because those mostly men who prey on society have not the mental or moral capacity to respect the rights of others. They voluntarily went down that road, often numerous times and already have cost taxpayers and proved a burden, not an asset. To have felons voting who laws that affect their criminality, as well as many times on selection of judges and sheriffs and allocation of taxpayer monies is not the brightest idea the fringe left ever had.

  120. I live in Florida and I've seen the campaign waged against this amendment. The probability that it will be approved is very, very slim. The anti-amendment constituents have made this an issue of the rights of victims and the continuing punishment of the crimes that have befallen them. In Florida conservatives are vehemently against any rights for convicted felons. Even if a felon has served their time and changed for the better conservatives firmly believe that they should no longer have any rights. Republicans have successfully promoted the message that people who have lower income, are minorities, women, children, immigrants or are elderly and even handicapped, these persons should have limited rights if any at all. Certainly only whites should be able to vote. The South and Florida are still fighting the Civil War. If it was up to the Florida legislature slavery would still be legal. I doubt that this amendment will pass. Its going to be an uphill battle right up until the last vote is cast. We must all be aware too, that this amendment is buried among at least 12 other amendments that are on the ballot. Reading all of them will be a task. I would like to see this amendment approved but I think the odds are against it.

  121. In 1865, William Marvin, provisional governor of Florida argued that the abolition of slavery did not mean free black people could vote. “The governing power is in the hands of the white race." That last quote certainly continues to ring true 153 years later. In November 2018, however, it is about time for free black, white and Hispanic ex offenders to finally have their voting rights restored here in Florida despite that 'governing power' which still prevails. The State of Florida should realize that this is not 1865 and join the majority of states in this "post Civil War" nation who have rightfully restored voting rights to their citizens. The passage of Amendment 4 will be yet another step toward providing liberty and justice for all. It's about time.