Amendment 4, which was approved by more than 60% of voters on Election Day in 2018, restores voting rights to former felons who served their sentence, with the exception of those convicted of murder and sexual offenses. Completion of a sentence includes any period of incarceration, probation, parole and financial obligations imposed as part of a person’s sentence.
The referendum overturned a 150-year-old law — also on the books in three other states — that permanently took away the right to vote for people with felony convictions.
Before the amendment passed, ex-felons had to wait at least five years after completing their sentences to ask the Florida Clemency Board to restore their rights. A U.S. district judge found Florida’s system arbitrary and unconstitutional in March. The case is under appeal.
In December, then Gov.-elect DeSantis said he wanted ex-felons to wait to register until the Legislature, which convenes March 5, has had a chance to vet the voting-rights restoration amendment to the constitution. He said the proposal should not take effect until “implementing language” is approved by the Legislature and he has signed it.
But Tuesday morning, social media was abuzz with posts from journalists, sharing images of ex-felons signing up to vote.
For more details on Amendment 4 and your rights, go here.
Where can I register to vote?
- Any Florida driver’s license office or tax collector’s office that issues driver’s licenses or ID cards.
- Online at www.registertovoteflorida.gov
- Submitting an application form (English or Spanish) by mail