Floridians to consider second-chance measure to restore felons' voting rights

In what will be a historic vote, Floridians will have a chance to decide in November if large numbers of felons will be granted voting rights.

State officials announced Tuesday that a proposal to restore voting rights for most convicted felons gained enough signatures to be placed on the ballot in November, giving the amendment a chance to be added to the Florida Constitution, the Miami Herald reported.

If 60 percent of voters support the amendment, it will give an estimated 1.5 million felons the right to vote -- excluding those convicted of murder or sex crimes -- according to the petition.

Floridians for Fair Democracy’s Desmond Meade has some personal reasons for supporting the proposal. Meade was convicted of drug and firearms charges in 2001, and so could not vote when his wife made an unsuccessful bid for a State House seat in 2016, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

“As someone directly impacted, I cannot quantify the level of emotion moving through me right now,” he said.

Florida currently bans ex-felons from voting on a permanent  basis, unless they are granted clemency by the Florida Board of Executive Clemency.