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SPLC statement on Florida’s Voting Restoration Amendment

The Voting Restoration Amendment, which would restore voting rights to people with felony convictions upon completion of their sentences including probation, will be on Florida’s ballot in November. 

The proposed amendment qualified for the ballot today, after reaching the more than 750,000 required signatures. 

So many people fought and died for the right to vote to ensure all citizens have a voice in our society. From the Jim Crow era to now, we have seen efforts – including felony disenfranchisement, poll taxes and voter ID laws – aimed at stripping our fellow Americans of their right to vote.

The Voting Restoration Amendment would reinstate the voting rights of more than one million Floridians, who at some point in their lives were convicted of a felony offense. These men and women – disproportionately representing communities of color – have done their time, paid their debts to society, and yet, we continue to silence them by barring them from the polls.

Voting is a vital part of our democracy, and we should do all we can to ensure everyone has an opportunity to vote. We are hopeful that Floridians will support the Voting Restoration Amendment, and grant their neighbors a second chance to have a voice in their local communities and our nation.