Florida Approves Ballot Measure Restoring Felons' Voting Rights

For Yraida Guanipa, an activist released from prison more than 10 years ago who currently defends other ex-convicts' human rights the change

Florida residents to vote on felon voter rights initiative

The amendment, which had more than 71 percent of the vote, requires Florida voters to approve any expansion of gambling in Florida.

Approximately 1.5 million people are now barred from voting in the state because of a past felony conviction - a figure representing about 10 percent of Florida's adult population.

However, that estimate included people convicted of murder and felony sex offenses, who will not be eligible under Amendment 4.

Florida Democrats feel that restoring voting rights to people who have served sentences for felonies could prove beneficial in future elections, according to the Daily Beast. "The school board election where my children go, you know, I can't decide who's going to be on their school board", he said.

It passed because a large majority of Florida voters recognized the injustice of the current system and saw the value in extending a second chance to people who have paid their debts and deserve to reclaim their status as full citizens.

Floridians voted Tuesday evening to restore the right to vote to some 1.4 million ex-felons in the state.

MI voters made their state the first in the Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana by passing a ballot measure that will allow people 21 or older to buy and use the drug.

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"Western and northeastern states have led the way on legalizing marijuana, but the victory in MI powerfully demonstrates the national reach of this movement", said Maria McFarland Sanchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, who questioned how long the federal government could resist the legalization wave.

Basically, casinos would need 60 percent approval to get a casino greenlit, and good luck getting 60 percent of Floridians to do anything at one time outside of drive terribly.

Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Florida affiliate, said the result would remove "an ugly stain" from the state constitution.

The old law disproportionately affected blacks and Latinos in particular. Following the Civil War, states and the federal government were prohibited from denying citizens the right to vote based on race, color or previous conditions of servitude.

Florida barred more felons than any other state from voting and an estimated 1 out of 5 African-American men.

Amendment 4, a high-profile measure explored as part of TPM's "Retreat From Democracy" series, passed, according to projections from CNN and NBC News.

Another gambling amendment Florida voters approved Tuesday was Amendment 3.

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