Amendment 4, the voting restoration amendment on Floridians’ ballot this November, has received broad support from Floridians from all walks of life – including key editorial board endorsements from across the Sunshine State.
Current Florida law excludes 1.4 million Floridians who have completed the terms of their sentence from voting for life. Florida is one of only four states with a lifetime ban on voting. Amendment 4 would restore the eligibility to vote to Floridians who have served their time and completed all terms of their sentence as ordered by a judge – including parole, probation, and restitution. The amendment specifically excludes those individuals who have committed murder or a felony sexual offense.
Sun-Sentinel stated, “The best of the proposals — Amendment 4 — owes to … the people of Florida, who signed petitions to put it on the ballot.”
Tampa Bay Times stated, “…felons who are able to reintegrate into society are far less likely to re-offend and wind up back in prison… Treating ex-offenders as full-fledged citizens is key to reducing recidivism, which saves taxpayers money.
Orlando Sentinel stated, “Here’s what’s wrong: Florida denies ex-felons the ability to vote after they’ve served their time. After they’ve completed probation. After they’ve made restitution… Florida’s current practice is un-American. It denies our fellow citizens a second chance. It denies redemption.”
Daytona Beach News-Journal stated, “Amendment 4, which restores voting rights and other opportunities to former felons who have paid their debt to society, was buoyed onto the ballot by hard work and hope. As many as 900,000 Floridians from across the state signed petitions to have it included on the 2018 ballot.”
Gainesville Sun stated, “Florida is at a crossroads when it comes to its criminal justice system. It can continue the status quo and pay the budget-busting consequences, or enact reforms that save money while making the state safer by reducing recidivism. Amendment 4 is one step in accomplishing the latter.”
Miami Herald stated, “This lifetime ban keeps people on the margins, unable to participate in the fullness of American life and long after they have paid their debt to society.”
Palm Beach Post stated, “Amendment 4 is on the ballot because of a longshot petition campaign that drew support … [from] a broad range of people. Among them are conservative evangelicals who believe the gospel smiles on second chances. And business people who grasp that restoring the rights of former felons will lead to economic gains for Florida, projected at $365 million per year, thanks to lower prison costs, less crime and improved productivity.
Florida Times-Union stated, “Those who have had their voting rights restored are one-third less likely to reoffend. The amendment would have a positive impact of $365 million to Florida’s economy…”
Tallahassee Democrat stated, “If we want ex-offenders to turn their lives around, we should do our best to let them fully return to society. If they reoffend and go back inside, they won’t be voting — but as long as they’re rebuilding their lives, why not let them have full citizenship? We’ll be voting “yes” on Amendment 4.”
Florida Today stated, “If the point of sentencing is to impose adequate punishment for a crime, why does Florida continue to punish former felons long after they paid their dues to society? Our state is one of four that don’t automatically restore voting rights to those who fulfilled their sentences.”
TC Palm stated, “Our state as a whole benefits when citizens who have completed their sentences can become productive members of society — and that includes voting. Moreover, Florida’s current clemency system, which gives full power to the governor and Cabinet, is broken and arbitrary.
Naples Daily News stated, “Florida is one of four states (also Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia) that still requires a board or designated officer to restore voting rights once felons have done their time.”
To learn more about the Second Chances Campaign, please visit secondchancesfl.org.