In a historic victory for the right to vote, Florida passed a bill that would restore the voting rights to 1.5 million felons. On November 6th, Amendment 4 was passed by the voters of Florida. Voting is the most powerful tool we have to ensure that we receive representation in congress.
Florida had some of the most restrictive regulations. Anyone convicted of a felony lost their right to vote and could only regain that right through the Governor. In this case the Governor was Republican Rick Scott. Under Scott the vast majority of people who received a favorable response to their petition to be able to vote again, were white. Minorities, in general, did not get their voting rights restored to them. For Republicans, the whole process was a way to keep people who would be more inclined to vote Democrat from being able to vote. It was just a way to tip the playing field in their favor.
For the people affected it meant they were completely disenfranchised. They had no say in their life. They had no voice to help pick the person who would represent them. They were Americans that were not allowed to participate in the American process of government. Our system of justice is supposed to be that once you have paid your debt to society you can move on with your life. Taking away the right to vote from felons is a way to continue punishing long past the time they owed to society.
Politicians should never be afraid for citizens to exercise their right to vote. If they are afraid, it means they are not doing what the majority of their constituents want. They’re there for a reason. If they’re not taking care of their constituents then who are they taking care of?
Click here to read the CNBC article.