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Federal Appeals Court Delays Ruling on State Ex-Felon Voting System

A federal appeals court is delaying a U.S. District Judge’s ruling that Florida’s process for ex-felon voting is unconstitutional. Say what?

Right now, ex-felons living in Florida have to wait five to seven years (depending on the crime) and apply to a Clemency Board to get back their right to vote. That board includes government officials like the governor, attorney general, chief financial officer,
and others.

Back in February — U.S. District Judge Mark Walker said that the process as unconstitutional.

Well this week, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal (a federal appeals court) delayed that lower judge’s ruling. So, basically the federal government is siding with the state on this argument.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 1.6 million ex-felons in Florida do not have the right to vote as of 2016.

New proposed rules might get rid of the board approval part of the process anyways. That’s where Amendment 4 comes in .

Amendment 4 says the right to vote will automatically be restored to ex-felons once they are done with their sentence. This includes parole and probation.

Amendment 4 will be on the ballot this fall.