a bird and a bottle

The Dominoes Are Fallin’ — FL Restores Felon Voting Rights
April 5, 2007, 12:21 pm
Filed under: civil rights, criminal justice, news

Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has done something profoundly right. Following Maryland’s lead, Florida today restored voting rights to felons who have finished serving their sentences.

The AP has the details:

Most felons released from prison will have their voting and other civil rights restored under a rule approved Thursday by Republican Gov. Charlie Crist and the state clemency board.

All but the most violent felons would avoid the need to get on a long list for a hearing before the board, which sometimes takes years.

The board voted 3-1 with Attorney General Bill McCollum, another Republican, strongly objecting.

Props to Crist for ignoring the ignorant and hateful objections of his A.G. Florida was one of only three states that denied voting rights to ALL felons even once they have served their sentences. Crist – who has long supported the restoration of civil rights – had to compromise to get the bill through; murderers and other violent felons would still have to go through a hearing before getting their rights back.

Even so, this is a huge step in the right direction for FL, long one of the worst offenders in terms of disenfranchisement of minority and low-income communities.


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