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Friday, 15 May 2015 09:33

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Written by  Compiled by Team SCPA

Posted May 15, 2015

The Campaign to Restore Voting Rights in Florida -- in the time of Rick Scott

Help put this issue on the November 2016 ballot.

Go here to sign the petition, also help get petitions signed:

Most states in the USA restore voting rights automatically when felons complete their sentences. Not Florida -- one of the nation's worst for restoring voting rights.

Under Gov. Rick Scott, restoration of felon's voting rights have slowed to a trickle. Only two other states in the USA are as bad as Florida. Therefore, a statewide movement is building to put the issue on the 2016 ballot.

“After someone has served their sentence, they shouldn’t keep being punished for the rest of their life,” said Jessica Chiappone, a Boca Raton lawyer who chairs the political committee Floridians for a Fair Democracy, as reported in Sun Sentinel.

About 1.6 million Floridians cannot vote, hold office or serve on a jury, according to The Sentencing Project. Florida law prohibits convicted felons from practicing law here.

In the state of Washington, convicted felons that wish to take the bar exam to practice law, must testify and argue why they are fit to practice law, thus making possible a "second chance."

Florida makes it harder for felons to "get a second chance" to become a part of their community. Fair democracy suffers.



Floridians for a Fair Democracy / Say YES to Second Chances
The Voting Restoration Amendment
Help put the Amendment on the 2016 ballot!

Sign the petition
In order to make sure the Voting Restoration Amendment appears on the 2016 ballot, we need nearly 700,000 Florida voters to sign this petition. You'll need to download PDF, print it out, sign it, and mail it to:

 Floridians for a Fair Democracy Inc.
 3000 Gulf to Bay Blvd.
 Suite 503
 Clearwater FL 33759!sign-the-petition/c1pt6


Florida among nation's toughest places to have voting rights restored
Orlando Sentinel, by Dan Sweeney and Ann Choi, Jan. 25, 2015

Commit any felony in Florida and you lose your right to vote for life — unless the governor and the clemency board agree to give that right back to you.

The result: more than 1.6 million Floridians — about 9 percent — cannot vote, hold office or serve on a jury, according to The Sentencing Project, a prison-reform group. In most states, the percentage is less than 2.

Only two other states have that tough a policy. ...


Desmond Meade, President, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, is a leader in the campaign to restore the rights of convicted felons. Meade ''went from serving as a soldier, to an inmate and even experienced homelessness. But despite those challenges, he managed to earn a law degree from Florida International University" writes Jessica Dickerson for The Huffington Post. Desmond Meade is still prevented from having his voting rights restored, and that's outrageous. On May 14, 2015, Meade was a featured speaker at SCPA.

EXCERPT from Close to 6 million people nationally cannot vote due to a prior felony conviction.  This infringement of a person’s right to vote is most pronounced in the State of Florida.  More than 1.5 million Floridians are permanently denied the right to vote because of a past conviction. This makes Florida an outlier in the national landscape. Only two other states in the country (Iowa & Kentucky) have a lifetime ban on voting after a person is convicted of a felony.
Due to current policies in Florida, disenfranchised Floridians must wait for a 5 to 7 year period before they can even apply to have their rights restored!  Once they have applied, there is a 6 year application processing time, which makes for a total waiting period of 11 to 13 years.  Even then, based on the current data, an individual has less than 1% chance of having his or her rights restored.


The Sentencing Project...
... works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.

Compiled by Team SCPA


Last modified on Tuesday, 16 June 2015 10:14
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