Vote ‘yes’ on Amendment 4
Voting-rights amendment deserves resounding “Yes”
Amendment 4 deserves a resounding “Yes” as it restores the eligibility to vote to those convicted of felonies who complete incarceration and parole, and pay fines and restitution.
It was put on the ballot by the collection of 1.1 million signatures on petitions from Floridians — certainly participatory democracy at its best.
When a debt is paid, it is paid. The Florida justice system says that these returning citizens have met all requirements. The amendment excludes those convicted of murder and felony sexual offenses.
The Florida system for restoring the eligibility to vote is broken.
Florida is one of only four states (with Kentucky, Iowa, and Virginia) that does not restore voting eligibility after a person has completed incarceration and parole, and paid fines and restitution.
Currently Floridians who have completed all steps to return to society have to wait five to seven years before they can even apply to vote. And the clemency board only hears 400 to 500 petitions to vote each year.
Passing Amendment 4 will restore voting eligibility to 1.4 million Floridians.
We should take this decision out of politics by amending the Florida Constitution.
This is a nonpartisan issue that matters to everyone, in all walks of life. Most of us believe in giving second chances. Second chances are as important to our family members, friends and neighbors as they are to these returning citizens. Margaret Moore Bradenton