1.4mn former felons will vote again in Florida

1.4mn former felons will vote again in Florida

Amendment 4, a high-profile measure explored as part of TPM's "Retreat From Democracy" series, passed, according to projections from CNN and NBC News.

The approval of Amendment 4 ensures that felons who have completed their sentence will be able to vote, with the exception to those convicted of murder and sexual offenses, who will remain ineligible.

"'Kol hakavod' to the Reform Jewish communities in Florida - and across the USA - who organized and mobilized to make this happen", the national Religious Action Center said on Twitter, using the Hebrew term for "well done".

During Tuesday's midterm elections, largely seen as the first civic evaluation of President Donald Trump's administration, voters passed Amendment 4, which will return the ability to vote to an estimated one million people.

A number of major Jewish philanthropists contributed to the campaign, including George Soros, Seth Klarman and Stacy Schusterman. While many states make it hard for felons to regain their voting rights, according to Oliver, the worst state of all "in this and arguably everything else is Florida". Florida also accounts for a quarter of the disenfranchised population in the United States, according to the Sentencing Project.

Prior to the state constitutional amendment's passage, as Ari Berman reported for Mother Jones, Florida was "one of only four states that prevent ex-felons from voting even after they've paid their debt to society". Whatever the political implications, this is a resounding victory for voting rights.

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When Gov. Rick Scott took office in 2011, he and the Cabinet reversed years of progress - imposing a minimum five-year wait on anyone seeking clemency and requiring them to submit to an arduous, often futile process.

Of those large numbers, African-Americans largely benefit from the measure due to the fact they numerically make up the most convicted felons in the country.

Florida has voted in favor of restoring felons' voting rights automatically on Tuesday night. The two remaining states are Iowa and Kentucky.

"Ultimately, we are citizens, we are in the community, we do want to have a say-I know I do-and this is a great way to have that opportunity", says Bryan Russi, 42, of Orlando, an ex-felon and current real estate agent.

Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate who has conceded in Florida's gubernatorial race, supported the measure while his opponent, Republican Ron DeSantis, opposed it.

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