Felons voting in Florida

Florida+Governor+Ron+DeSantis%2C+who+has+opposed+amendment+four.
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Felons voting in Florida

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has opposed amendment four.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has opposed amendment four.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has opposed amendment four.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has opposed amendment four.

Sara Mount, Staff Writer

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In November Florida voters voted to allow felons to vote. This amendment opened the voting eligibility to 1.4 million felons. However, the amendment was vague originally when it was voted in, making room for interpretation and change. This amendment was one that was supported by Democrats and Republicans and was supported by majority of Floridians who voted.

Despite the change in the voting eligibility, Republicans want to narrow down exactly which felons can vote. This month the Republican state lawmakers expressed their plan to limit the amendment’s scope. The want to change the amendment has made the issue polarizing. Many people do not want so many restrictions on felons voting as Republican candidates would like to have. From the amendment’s inception, felons who committed crimes such as murder and sexual offenses will be limited on their voting right. Beyond that, there are certain parameters that are not clear yet, such as whether finishing a sentence includes paying restitution in full and finishing all parole. For example, Karen Leicht is a convicted felon from Miami was not sure she was eligible to register because of the restitution she still owes. Two senators in Florida told her to go ahead while the lawmakers sort out the specifics of the final amendment. Requirements like paying full restitution before being registered to vote are the limits to the scope Republicans are wanting to implement.  The offenses committed still need to be legislated as well.

With such a monumental change to voting rights in Florida comes lots questions and disagreements. Republicans are pushing for a more restricted amendment. Democrats are wanting to keep it more open. Even though both Democrats and Republicans voted for felons’ right to vote, many people disagree on the specifics.

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Felons voting in Florida