Follow will of the voters
I wholeheartedly support voting “yes” on Amendment 4 and returning voting rights to well over 1 million Floridians. Someone who has served their time and returned to society should be able to have ALL their rights returned. It is the right thing to do, the humane thing to do, and the civically responsible thing to do.
I worry, however, that even if the people of Florida vote to return these rights, the fight may not be over. I spend several months in Maine and have family that lives in Maine. I have seen what happens when the voters pass a referendum, but the governor and legislature do not agree with it. Two years ago, the voters of Maine said overwhelmingly that they wanted to expand Medicaid to cover hundreds of thousands of Mainers who lacked health coverage. To date, the Republican controlled legislature has dragged their feet on implementation and the GOP governor has refused to fund the program.
When you vote “yes” for Amendment 4, please remember that a big part of the reason we must fight for rights to be restored to felons who have served their time is because of the current GOP administration that has refused most of the applications for the restoration of rights as it is currently allowed. My fear is that if the Republicans remain in control of the legislative and executive branch of Florida’s government, there will be no implementation of this amendment, even if it is passed by a majority of voters. Just remember how long it took to have medical marijuana available after voters approved that ballot initiative. Vote for Democrats who will follow the will of the voters with respect to voting rights.