A felon’s bill
A bill that would automatically return voting rights to felons after they completetheirsentenceshasbeenintroduced by a Florida legislator who isstillinofficeeventhoughheisaconvicted felon.
ThebillintroducedDec.21bystate Sen. Gary Siplin would change the state’slong-standingconstitutionalban on felon voting. Now, a felon’s rights can only be restored by the state’s clemency board, which must hear each case in a process that can take monthsoryears,theAssociatedPress reports. Florida is one of just three statesthatdon’tautomaticallyrestore voting rights after completion of a sentence,saidSenateMinorityLeader Steven Geller.
Mr. Siplin, a two-term Democrat from Orlando, was convicted in August on felony grand theft charges for having employees work on his 2004 re-election campaign on state time. He was sentenced last month to three years’ probation and 300 hours of community service, but that has been postponed pending his appeal.
Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.