Washington, D.C. — Florida’s Division of Elections announced today that a constitutional amendment restoring voting rights to individuals with felony convictions will appear on the November 2018 ballot. A 60 percent approval by Florida voters would allow individuals to fully participate in civic life after they have fully completed their sentences—including any probation, parole, fines, or restitution to their victims. Danyelle Solomon, director of Progress 2050 at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement in response to the news:
Today, Florida took a big step toward restoring the most fundamental of rights—voting—to formerly incarcerated men and women. This November, Floridians will have an opportunity to ensure citizens who have completed their sentences, including parole or probation, and paid their debts can fully participate in civic life. Florida is one of just four states that permanently prevents citizens with a prior felony conviction from voting. This cruel policy affects 1 in 10 residents, including 1 in 5 African Americans. By restoring the vote, Floridians take an important step toward improving re-entry and reducing recidivism. We are thankful for the groups on the ground whose hard work ensured that this amendment will appear on the 2018 ballot. Florida is on the right path. Now it’s time to vote for second chances.
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