Voting Rights Restoration in Florida, Cont.

Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi took no position on the ballot initiative that would restore millions of formerly incarcerated individuals’ right to vote in Florida Supreme Court Monday, and for people working on the initiative that was very good news.

The court must decide whether the ballot initiative deals with only one subject and whether the title and summary that voters will see on the ballot fairly describes the amendment. The proposal, which would be on the ballot in 2018 if approved, would restore the voting rights of convicted felons after they have completed their sentences, including probation, and it would not apply to people convicted of sexual battery or murder.

Desmond Meade, a leader of Floridians for a Fair Democracy, the group directing the statewide petition drive to get the voting rights question on the ballot, told reporters that Bondi’s official neutrality was “a wonderful thing.”

“This is rooted in fairness,” Meade said. “Once a person has served their time and paid their debt to society, they should be given an opportunity to have their voices heard … But Florida is an outlier.”

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