Liberals Trying To Give Swing State Felons The Right To Vote..
If someone gets sent to prison for a felony, there are certain things that they are not allowed to do anymore because quite honestly they cannot be trusted with certain responsibilities.
Voters in one of America’s biggest swing states will be able to decide on this November’s ballot whether convicted felons will regain the right to vote.
If 60 percent of voters in Florida approve the initiative, Amendment 4, voting rights would be returned to 1.5 million felons in the state once they compete their sentences, including parole or probation. The initiative would not include sex offenders or murderers.
“Floridians for Fair Democracy, led by Desmond Meade, of Orlando, successfully gathered more than 799,000 certified signatures in their years-long petition drive, just a week before the deadline to reach the required total of about 766,000,” The Orlando Sentinel reported on Tuesday.
“Because of that, the state on Tuesday certified the initiative for the Nov. 6 ballot.”
And the question could be crucial for future Florida elections.
“Voter approval could reshape the politics of the nation’s largest swing state, where the past two races for governor have been decided by about 1 percentage point and where the 2000 vote for president was decided by 537 votes,” the Miami Herald noted.
Meade was a former drug addict who was convicted of drug and firearm charges back in 2001. He went on to earn a law degree, but found himself unable to vote for his wife when she mounted an unsuccessful attempt at the Florida House of Representatives.
“As someone directly impacted, I cannot quantify the level of emotion moving through me right now,” Meade told the Sentinel.
Meade’s organization used paid solicitors to collect 1.1 million signatures, the vast majority of which came from only four Florida counties: Pinellas, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade and Broward.
Of the states that currently bar any voting by former felons without clemency, Florida is by far the largest. The current setup, which requires felons to wait five years to begin the clemency progress, was put into place by Gov. Rick Scott — who could be on the ballot for Senate this year.
The possible impact of Amendment 4 divided pundits. University of Florida political scientist Daniel Smith, who said the measure “flies in the face of the governor and his hostility to restoring voting rights,” said ballot initiatives can often bring out voters who aren’t interested in off-year elections.