Florida restores felons’ voting rights, impacting 1.5 million citizens

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Most Florida felons who have finished their sentences will be able to vote again in future elections.

Voters on Tuesday approved Amendment 4, which says that most felons will automatically have their voting rights restored when they complete their sentences or go on probation. The amendment exempts those convicted of sex offenses and murder.

Supporters said the state's current system was too onerous. It required felons to wait at least five years after completing their sentence before they could file a request with the governor and Cabinet. About 1.5 million people are affected. Nearly all states allow felons to vote after completing their sentences.

Opponents argued that the measure treats all felons alike and takes away the ability to judge each individually.

The measure was placed on the ballot by petition.

New Yorkers reinstated the voting rights of former offenders in April. PIX11 interviewed two men who were able to cast their ballot Tuesday because of that change. Watch in the video above.

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