Let these 1.4 million Floridians vote

By Mark Ferrulo - October 30, 2018

It’s both shocking and embarrassing that nearly 1.4 million Floridians who have paid their debt to society are permanently barred from exercising their right to vote. As Floridians who have our right to vote, we can and must right this wrong. That means voting Yes on Amendment 4.

Make a plan to vote early or on Election Day at www.MakeAPlanToVote.com and vote Yes on Amendment 4! Even if you’ve already voted (thank you!) please forward this message to your Florida friends and family.

Currently, citizens reentering society after serving a sentence for a felony are permanently banned from voting in our state. There’s only three other states that have such a draconian law. Florida’s version of this law goes back to the years following the Civil War. As part of the 1868 Florida Constitution, this was one of several measures designed to keep freed slaves from voting.

Today, Floridians who’ve paid their debt to society who wish to regain their right vote must appear before the Florida Cabinet. The cabinet - consisting of the Governor, Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer, and Secretary of Agriculture and Consumer Services - do not have to follow any process or adhere to any standards when making their decision. There are no appeals. This “process” makes an absolute mockery of due process and the importance of every citizen’s right to vote.

Amendment 4, if passed by Florida voters next week, would automatically restore the eligibility to vote of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole, probation, and restitution. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or felony sexual offenses.

Early voting is happening today through Saturday, and in some counties Sunday too. Check where your closest location is and when it’s open, and be sure to vote Yes on Amendment 4.

Now is the time to stand on the side of justice. As Floridians, we believe in forgiveness, redemption, restoration and, ultimately, second chances. Vote Yes on Amendment 4.

 


P.S. - Still have your mail ballot? Here are your options:

  • Mail it today! The latest date suggested to mail is this Friday.
  • Hand-deliver your ballot to your local Supervisor of Elections Office during regular business hours, and up until 7 PM on Election Day.
  • Take your ballot to Early Voting where they will let you vote in person. You can find your nearest Early Voting location at www.makeaplantovote.com/early
  • Take your mail ballot to Election Day Voting. You can turn in your mail ballot and cast a regular vote.

 

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