Felons will get voting rights automatically restored after serving their sentences, vaping in workplaces will be illegal and greyhound racing will be banned in Florida under a series of constitutional amendments approved Tuesday.
The amendment restores voting rights to ex-felons who completed their sentences, although people convicted of murder or felony sex offences were excluded. "A few exceedingly well-financed special interests are driving a ballot initiative that is mislabeled and anti-consumer in the State of Florida". That means 1.5 million Floridians with prior felony convictions will be eligible to vote in 2020.
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.
"This victory is the culmination of decades of hard work", Simon said. 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".
Shortly after taking office in 2007, then-Republican Governor Charlie Crist persuaded two of the state's three Cabinet members to approve rules that would allow the parole commission to restore voting rights for nonviolent felons without a hearing.
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"Tonight, in an historic vote, Florida voters have delivered a knock-out blow to a cruel industry that has been hurting and killing dogs for almost a century", the Yes on 13 campaign wrote in a statement.
But the passage of this amendment to Florida's constitution will go some way to correct this situation.
"Today, Floridians from all walks of life and political persuasions came together to make Florida a better democracy and affirm our shared value that when a debt is paid, it's paid", Desmond Meade, chairman of Floridians for a Fair Democracy, a group that led efforts to pass the amendment, said in a prepared statement.
As black people are disproportionately represented among former felons, one in five black Florida voters are prohibited from voting due to a criminal record. "Thank you for reaching Florida Rights Restoration Coalition". We applaud the people of Florida!
What happens to a person convicted of a felony varies from state to state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Other states, like Florida before Tuesday, banned them from ever voting once they had a felony conviction, even years after their full sentence had been completed.