Voting Rights

Push on for Felon Voting Rights- Sun Sentinel

Push on for Felon Voting Rights- Sun Sentinel

Push on for Felon Voting Rights

Florida high court to rule on ballot access for amendment

The new year could mark a major milestone toward hundreds of thousands of Floridians regaining the right to vote.

The Florida Supreme Court in March will hear arguments on a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow felons — except murderers and sex offenders — to have their voting rights restored after they complete prison and probation.

Just over 6 million felons in the United States are unable to vote, according to The Sentencing Project, a prison-reform group. About 1.7 million of them live in Florida, which amounts to more than 10 percent of the state’s voting population.

Florida is one of just

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Redistricting

Redistricting

Tell The Florida Legislature To Stop Undermining Our Courts

Republican leaders in the Florida Legislature have set their sights on attacking the independence of Florida’s courts. HJR 121 would put a constitutional amendment on the 2018 ballot that, if passed, would allow the Florida Legislature to override state court decisions they don’t like with a two-thirds vote. It doesn’t take a degree in civics to understand how this undermines our democracy.

Sign the petition to the Florida Legislature today:

Stop trying to undermine our courts and our democracy. Vote No on HJR 121.

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One person, one vote? Electoral College

One person, one vote?election-2016-map
Well, not really…


The U S Constitution outlines the rules for an Electoral College and then turns over voting to the states:

The population of Florida is 19,893,297
The population of Wyoming is 584,153


Florida has 29 electoral votes
Wyoming has 3


It takes 685,975 Floridians to equal 1 electoral vote
It takes 194,717 Wyomingites to equal 1 electoral vote


That makes each vote from Wyoming worth 3.5 times
what each vote from Florida is worth in the election for
President of the United States of America


For the second time in the 21st century the winner of the popular vote has lost the presidency to the winner of the electoral vote—this time by more than 2.5 million votes (2% of votes)

So what

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Why Courts Matter Video Series

Why Courts Matter Series

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Hamilton’s America Wants You to Vote – video

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House Bill Would Allow Felons to Regain Voting Rights – Sun Sentinel

Alan Grayson has taken the fight to restore rights to the US House.  This article is interesting for its simple summarization of the voting rights landscape for felons across the nation, and for Desmond Meade’s comments at the end.  If you haven’t signed a petition to get an amendment to our Florida Constitution to allow people with former felony convictions to vote, please do so now!  We are very close to having enough signatures for judicial review.

Don’t forget to vote on August 30!  And save the date and make your reservation now (I look forward to seeing you on September 21):

  • Wednesday September 21, 11 am: How Judicial Vacancies Impede Access to Justice: Nancy Abudu, Legal Director for the ACLU of Florida. The high
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Florida must stop keeping ex-prisoners from voting rights – article

Mark Schneider wrote this op ed piece for the

The Palm Beach Post, Sunday August 7, 2016:

POINT OF VIEW FELON VOTING RIGHTS

Florida must stop keeping ex-prisoners from voting rights

Schneider

Schneider

How much of our money does Gov. Rick Scott spend each year to keep some of our fellow citizens from voting? The answer is $2.5 million. Who are these citizens? They’re the 1.5 million Florida residents with past felony convictions, kept from the polling booths by Scott’s manipulation of a constitutional provision, a vestige of Civil War-era racism designed to disenfranchise black people in Florida. In almost all other states but ours, these citizens would automatically have their civil rights restored upon completion of the terms of their sentences, and at almost no cost to the

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Florida has history of disenfranchisement

(re-printed)
Palm Beach Post, July 4, 2016
by Mark Schneider (President of ACLU Palm Beach County, LWVPBC and Voting Rights Coalition member)

With the campaigns in full swing, it’s time to remind voters of Florida’s shameful recent history of voter disenfranchisement, including the state’s legacy of stripping the right to vote from felons.
In Florida, felons can apply to have their rights restored five to seven years after completing their sentences. But under Gov. Rick Scott, fewer than 2,000 who applied for rights restoration have been approved. Many of these Floridians, who have paid their debt to society, have applied and been denied or forced to wait in limbo for years without resolution.
Black Floridians are much more likely to be disenfranchised, with nearly one-quarter of Florida’s black …
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Automatic Voter Registration: Why and How

The Time is Right: NOW

Four states (Oregon, California, Vermont, West Virginia) have passed automatic voter registration bills.  The experience from Oregon seems very positive.  Many other states are considering registering all citizens to vote (with an opt-out option.)  The Voting Rights Coalition will be studying this innovative move this fall, as well as continuing our drive to restore voting rights for citizens with former felony convictions and studying, educating, and advocating against voter suppression in its many forms.

https://www.brennancenter.org/event/automatic-voter-registration-why-and-how

ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER

WATCH: FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER ON AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION

On May 18, 2016, the Brennan Center for Justice hosted the first national conference on automatic voter registration. Nearly 400 attendees from 20 states convened to discuss this breakthrough reform.  Conference participants traded ideas on strategies and …

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Money in Politics Consensus Survey Report

Here is our report on our January 14 Money in Politics Consensus meeting and a summary of survey responses from participants…
Thanks to all who participated.  -Nancy Cohen, LWVPBC Program Director

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