Before 2007, Florida was one of three states that permanently disenfranchised ex-felons. Former Governor Charlie Crist amended the rules so that nonviolent ex-felons could more easily regain their voting rights. However, as Brentin Mock details in a report from Florida in The Nation, as soon as Rick Scott took office in 2011, he began to reverse Crist’s reforms. Now, those with non-serious felonies convictions have to wait five years after release before they can even be considered for rights restoration.
Florida is not alone in limiting the ability of ex-felons to vote. Iowa, Virginia and Kentucky permanently disenfranchise everyone with felony convictions and at least twelve other states impose some restrictions. The Democracy Restoration Act would restore voting rights in federal elections to all former felons. Add your name to the growing chorus of Americans calling for felon voting rights. After weighing in, share this post with friends, family and your Facebook and Twitter communities.
This Felon Enfranchisement Tool-Kit, produced by the ACLU, offers a wealth of resources, reports and comparative data making the case that felon voting is a legitimate part of any functioning democracy.
In this MSNBC video, former Florida Governor Crist criticized his successor for using “shameless” tactics to suppress voting rights, including preventing felons from voting.
A weekly guide to meaningful action, this blog connects readers with resources to channel the outrage so many feel after reading about abuses of power and privilege. Far from a comprehensive digest of all worthy groups working on behalf of the social good, Take Action seeks to shine a bright light on one concrete step that Nation readers can take each week. To broaden the conversation, we’ll publish a weekly follow-up post detailing the response and featuring additional campaigns and initiatives that we hope readers will check out. Toward that end, please use the comments field to give us ideas. With your help, we can make real change.