Florida residents to vote on felon voter rights initiative

Tuesday's elections were seen as a referendum on Trump

In a triumphant victory for voting reform advocates, Florida voters on Tuesday passed a ballot amendment to restore voting rights to 1.4 million residents with felony convictions. As the Daily Beast reports, Democratic candidates campaigned hard on Amendment 4, whereas Republican candidates mostly kept quiet about the amendment, despite the fact that it's not a controversial policy.

More than 1 million previously convicted felons have had their right to vote restored in Florida. Under its terms, most felons will automatically have their voting rights restored when they complete their sentences or go on probation.

The amendment does have its problems.

It doesn't apply to anyone convicted of murder or sexual assault.

Until Wednesday's initiative passed, Florida had some of the strictest laws in the country regarding a criminal's ability to vote; in turn, leaving Florida with one of the highest disenfranchisement rates in the country.

Also known as the "Supermajority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees" amendment, it's one of a dozen amendments on the statewide General Election ballot.

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Scott has said, "If you are a convicted felon part of what you did is you lose your rights and there ought to be a process to get those rights back".

Other states, like Florida before Tuesday, banned them from ever voting once they had a felony conviction, even years after their full sentence had been completed.

Those were the first notable results as voters in 37 states considered an array of intriguing ballot measures - ranging from marijuana legalization to boosting the minimum wage to civil rights protections for transgender people. It was the deciding state in the 2000 election, and one of the most important ones in the 2016 election.

Florida's Senate and gubernatorial races remain too close to call, but there's already some major news out of the state.

Shortly after taking office in 2007, then-Republican Governor Charlie Crist persuaded two of the state's three Cabinet members to approve rules that would allow the parole commission to restore voting rights for nonviolent felons without a hearing. Virginia has a similar provision, but the last two governors have used their executive powers to restore voting rights of those affected. "A US district judge found Florida's current system arbitrary and unconstitutional in March, and the case is under appeal", the Pensacola News-Journal reported on Tuesday evening.

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