Examination of Voting Rights Restoration in the State of Florida

Posted: 19 Dec 2018

Date Written: November 16, 2018


The research examines Amendment 4 and efforts for voting rights restoration in Florida. Politically, Florida has history of being a swing state. The disenfranchisement of felons was most likely the driving force behind Al Gore losing the 2000 presidential election. In a controversial election vote that took five weeks to sort out, Republican George W. Bush won Florida by 537 votes. In the 2016 election, it can be concluded that without this policy, the outcome would have been different. Beating Hillary Clinton 49% to 47.7%, Donald Trump took 29 more electoral votes to add to his number. The fact that millions of people do not get the option to be represented by their desired candidate but are good enough to be paying taxes is very ironic. unconstitutional.

Felon disenfranchisement policies derived from the Jim Crow era, and if Florida is seeking to move forward, must be abolished. When an individual does something wrong and they fulfill their punishments and consequences, there is no reason for it to continue — unless there is a system that benefits from stripping their life, liberty, and their pursuit of happiness. This policy is stripping the fundamental rights of millions in the State, and it is time for Floridians to recognize that this immoral act need to stop. Alongside this policy, there need to be strong criminal justice reform that restricts the amount of people getting incarcerated for long periods of time from committing petty crimes. I will explain the origin and history of felon disenfranchisement in Florida and other Southern states. I will also explain the factors that led the success of Amendment 4 in November 2018 that will result in the automatic restoration of voting rights for felons convicted of crimes with the exception of murder and sexual assault.

Suggested Citation

Austin, Sharon and Saintil, Taisha, Examination of Voting Rights Restoration in the State of Florida (November 16, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3285586

Sharon Austin (Contact Author)

University of Florida ( email )

PO Box 117165, 201 Stuzin Hall
Gainesville, FL 32610-0496
United States

Taisha Saintil

Independent ( email )

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