U.S. mid-terms: Florida restores voting rights to ex-convicts

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Marissa Alexander, who was convicted of aggravated assault in 2012 for firing a warning shot at her husband, who she said abused her, has advocated for the the amendment to restore former felons' right to vote. Those who committed sexual offenses or murder are excluded from having their ability to vote restored.

While the move is expected to significantly influence the political future of Florida-as Berman put it on Twitter, "Restoring voting rights to 1.4 million people is game changer for voting rights & criminal justice reform & will transform Florida's political map"-Simon, and others, tied the outcome to attacks on democracy across the United States".

Florida's Amendment 4 restores voting rights for most convicted felons who have completed their sentences already. During his two terms in office, former Gov. and now Sen. -elect Rick Scott had restored the voting rights of roughly 3,000 felons who had served out their sentences.

At least 60 percent of voters had to approve it for it to become a law. Many are laws that prevent people now in prison from voting while others are laws that prevent people from voting until they have finished parol or probation.

Both Democratic opponents, incumbent Democratic Sen. Florida's harsh, lifetime ban on voting rights, which racist lawmakers approved during the Jim Crow era, meant that more than one in five black adults had been permanently blocked from casting a ballot.

If the amendment had failed, Florida's state legislature could have sought to legalize sports betting at casinos through a bill, bypassing a vote by state residents.

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As Winfrey was speaking, Vice President Mike Pence was in Dalton, about 70 miles north of Marietta, to add his support to Kemp. More than 1.5 million of the state's nearly seven million registered voters have cast ballots already.

Amendment 4 received 65% of the vote, according to the Miami Herald, changing 150-year-old language in the state's constitution.

Essentially, based on research at Ballotpedia.org, which cites both supporters and opposition of the amendment, Florida Amendment 3 is created to take the legislation of gambling out of hands of legislators and put it into the hands of the citizens. "Thank you for reaching Florida Rights Restoration Coalition".

With the passage of Amendment 4, as many as 1.5 million Floridians will be re-enfranchised ahead of the next election.

"Florida voters have kicked open the doors of Tallahassee's back rooms and demanded an end to gambling industry influence in the hallways of the capitol", Sowinski said in a prepared statement.

Currently, felons must wait a minimum of five years after completing their sentences to apply for restoration of their voting rights.

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