News Stories

Federal Judge Rules Florida Ex-Felon Voting Rights Process Unconstitutional

Should ex-felons have the right to vote?

The Sunshine State has one of the biggest ex-felon populations in the United States and some of the strictest rules on those felons voting .

According to nonprofit research center The Sentencing Project , 6.1 million people around the U.S. are not allowed to vote because of a felony conviction.

Florida accounts for more than a quarter of this disenfranchised population — which essentially means “deprived of the right to vote”.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice , as of 2016, there were 1.6 million disenfranchised ex-felons in Florida. Of those, 1.4 million were people who have completed their entire sentence. That includes probation and parole.

Only Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia ban all convicted ex-felons out of prison, parole, and probation from voting. In this state, they have to go through a long process to get that right back.

Well, that process was deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge Thursday.

In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker said the process was unconstitutional saying things like “no standards guide the panel” and the system doesn’t pass “constitutional muster”.

What do you think of this decision? Do you think it could affect elections?

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