World Media

Florida votes to restore ex-felons’ voting rights

Florida votes to restore ex-felons’ voting rights

The idea of giving voting rights to violent felons like murderers and sex criminals isn't particularly a savory idea, but Oliver notes that only 18% of felons fall into that category-and Florida's amendment doesn't apply to them anyway.

In all, voters were headed toward passing 11 of the 12 amendments on the ballot.

- Florida voters approved a ballot measure Tuesday night that will restore voting rights to an estimated 1.4 million people with felony records in the critical swing state.

Florida was one of four states with a constitution that permanently disenfranchises residents with past felony convictions.

While a clemency board run by the governor exists to restore voting rights, that board under Gov. Rick Scott has been extremely biased, restoring the vote disproportionately to white and Republican ex-felons and leaving everyone else to twist in the wind.

What would Election Day be like without a little wacky news from Florida? Whatever the political implications, this is a resounding victory for voting rights.

Tragedy at Melbourne Cup as horse The CliffsofMoher put down after injury
Cross Counter won the Cup, the Charlie Appleby-trained stayer handing Australian jockey Kerrin McEvoy his third Cup triumph. The Godolphin stable, owned by uber-wealthy Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed, finally broke their Melbourne Cup drought.

Voters faced a lengthy ballot when they went to the polls, in part because of the dozen proposed constitutional amendments. Amendment 4 was one of 13 ballot initiatives that Floridians considered this year, but it has received the most national attention, as it enfranchises the largest population in USA history since women's suffrage. The measure was touted as an environmental amendment to ensure clean air and clean water.

Vaping and offshore drilling?: Yes.

On Tuesday, the Sunshine State also voted to ban dog racing involving wagering by 2020. Sonia Stratemann, a greyhound racing opponent, said the vote will save "thousands and thousands of greyhounds from being bred into a cruel industry".

Amendment 13 faced fierce opposition from greyhound breeders and owners and the National Rifle Association's Florida lobbyist, Marion Hammer, who urged members to defeat the measure, saying that a provision could open to the door to ban hunting and fishing.

In a statement, ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon celebrated what he called "one of the largest expansions of the franchise in our nation's history" but warned that the fight was not over.

One of them includes Florida Amendment 3, which would apparently block sports gambling in the state of Florida.


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