Words By: Symone Daniels

Although Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum was defeated in the race for Florida Governor, the state still gained a victory by voting in favor of Amendment 4. The purpose of Amendment 4 is to automatically restore the voting rights for people with prior felony convictions, except those convicted of murder or felony sexual offense.

More than 799,000 voters signed a petition in order for Amendment 4 to be placed on the ballot. Felons must wait at least five years after completing their sentences to ask the Florida Clemency Board According to a report from the Sentencing Project, in 2016 around 6.1 million people were disenfranchised due to a felony conviction. Florida, along with Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia are states where convicted felons do not regain the right to vote unless a state officer or board restores the persons voting rights.

Felons must wait at least five years after completing their sentences to ask the Florida Clemency Boars.  Thanks to voters, 1.4 million people now have their voting rights restored making this the largest expansion in voting rights.