Over a Million Convicted Felons In Florida Were Given Back Their Voting Rights

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Florida voters approved Amendment 4 on Tuesday, which will allow felons to vote again in future elections.

Convicted felons automatically had their voting rights restored on November 6 after an overwhelmingly amount of Floridians were in favor of them voting again. Before Tuesday, felons were not permitted to vote unless they sought approval from the governor and certain cabinet officials according to the state’s constitution. However, 1.2 million people convicted of felonies are expected to be able to vote again, the Miami Herald reported.

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MOSCOW, RUSSIA – NOVEMBER 17, 2017: A person casts a ballot during an election of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper editor-in-chief. Viktoria Odissonova/Novaya Gazeta newspaper/TASS (Photo by Viktoria OdissonovaTASS via Getty Images)

“I’m going to vote until the day I kick the bucket over,” said Marquis McKenzie, who’s been a convicted felon since the age of 16 due to a robbery he committed in 2006.

Amendment 4 states that felons will be giving the right to vote once they’ve completed their sentences or go on probation. Those who’ve convicted of sex offenses and murder is exempted from the amendment. The amendment will be in effect starting January 8, 2019 and former prisoners should be able to register to vote at their county elections office that day.

Those who are in support of felons’ voting rights said that Florida’s modern system was way too grueling. Felons had to wait for at least five years after finishing their prison sentence before being able to file a request with the Cabinet and state governor. Nevertheless, election results showed a wide spread of support for the amendment across the state of Florida. Out of the state’s 10 media markets, not one voted to reject it.

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