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FL: Over 1 Million Felons Win Right To Vote With Amendment 4

In a key ballot initiative, Florida will restore voting rights to citizens convicted of certain felonies after they have served their sentences, including prison terms, parole and probationary periods, AP has projected.

Voting rights will not be restored to those convicted of murder or felony sexual offenses. Full Article

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  1. matthew

    Yes, murderers and sex offenders are pretty much the same right?

    • Facts should matter

      Yes, they conflate us all with Megan Kankas’ abductor and subsequent murderer > Timothy J. And with Florida’s new “tough on crime” (R) Governor, expect things to get even worse.

      At this point, these laws are just spite work and retaliatory vengeance, not justice.

    • David

      Common hyperbole speaks for itself: “A victim of sexual crime has to endure a lifetime of constant torment in which every moment is a living hell.”

      (As opposed to being dead which is often referred to as”being at rest” or “being at peace”.)

      • Harry

        Victims of sex crimes are in lifetime of torment when the lawyer shows up, looking for clients.

        • David Kennerly

          Harry & David (presumably, not the holiday fruit-and-nut basket purveyors), the “lifetime-of-torment” is one of the greatest unchallenged, and remarkably unexamined, myths of our time. Don’t take my word for it, read Susan Clancy’s “The Trauma Myth” (which, after its publication, made her fear so much for her life that she fled the U.S.). She doesn’t even LIKE us and finds us abhorrent but comes to the conclusion that all of that undifferentiated and obligatory “trauma” is a bunch of b.s. Not that trauma doesn’t happen – it certainly does – but it corresponds closely with the use of force and coercion. In other words, when you force yourself on someone they find it traumatic and its effects lasting although to varying extents, often far-less than “a lifetime.” That’s both intuitive and empirically demonstrable. But no one can challenge the trauma narrative without being harassed out of society today. Self-proclaimed “trauma” has become the coin of the cultural realm today but what it really does is to cheapen actual trauma experienced by real victims.

  2. Eric

    If ever there was a case of discrimination this is it. How are armed robbers, drug dealers, dog fighters, and those with gun violence of a more reputable and trustworthy class that they can vote, but not people on the registry? So the registry isn’t punishment, huh?

  3. Chris f

    Isnt voting a right requiring strict scrutiny, or at least elevated scrutiny where the government would both have to justify denying the right as well as justify how it doesnt violate equal protection? Its also a bill of attainder as segregating a named group for different treatment and that should elevate scrutiny.

    • AJ

      @Chris f:
      Give Richardson v. Ramirez (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/418/24/) a read. It goes into some good historical detail surrounding this topic, both from a 14th Amdt. point of view and a Reconstruction point of view.

      There’s also some case involving OR or ID or such from the late 1800s about this, but it slips my mind and research at the moment.

      • Chris F

        Thanks AJ,

        I was pretty sure this was the case with voting rights as I think I read that long ago.

        The difference here is it doesn’t apply to all felons and should need more than rational basis even if they can come up with that.

        • AJ

          @Chris F:
          To my knowledge, a State decides which felonies are disenfranchising and which are not. The example I like to point to is good ol’ Mississippi. They have a list of crimes that are disenfranchising (http://www.sos.ms.gov/Elections-Voting/Documents/SummaryofAttorneyGeneralOpinionsonElectionIssues.pdf). The 1890 original list was of crimes believed to be committed mostly by Blacks. According to the PDF, in 2009 the State AG expanded the list of disqualifying offenses.

          Making this all the weirder is that only those people convicted of those crimes *in MS* are disqualified. Someone convicted of timber larceny (yes, really…but drug offenses? Nope.) in WY or PR can move to MS and vote, but the home-grown (pun intended) timber larcener cannot. To be honest, I’m not sure that would withstand equal protection, but how many felons are going to bother to try? A lot of $$$ for a small personal gain. Good news for MS felons is that the SPLC is suing about it (https://www.splcenter.org/news/2018/03/27/splc-sues-restore-mississippi-citizens-voting-rights).

          Another tidbit about the MS constitution that may cause you to shake your head:
          *****
          SECTION 265. Denial of Supreme Being disqualifiation to hold office.
          No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this State.
          *****
          I guess atheists need not apply for any public position, given it says, “office in this State,” not, “State office.” I have to think it’s been challenged somewhere in the Great State of MS, but who knows. It sure would be an easy win.

  4. Gralphr

    I find it comical when they still choose to use some groups as the scapegoats when they decide to allow others. What does a conviction for a sexual crime have to do with the act of voting? Are these people still required to pay taxes, etc? If so, and they’re not under probation or parole, what’s the legitimate reason to deny them voting, other than to punish them above others for a PAST transgression?

  5. Henry

    Does anyone know if the Supremacy Clause can be used to make Florida include ALL convicted felons. Not many charged with murder get out of prison (there are some) but most RSO’s do. I would be interested to know if this can be fought in court?

    • Timmmy

      Voting belongs to the states. The only thing the feds could do is like a lot of other things, such age drinking age and speed limit laws is to threaten the withholding of federal funds.

  6. ThoughtAsWeak

    I hope this gets challenged in the courts. States need to stop excluding certain crimes but give the benefit to all other crimes.

  7. TS

    IMO, just my opinion, this could have swayed last night’s Gov election there had these folks had the ability to vote given the breakdown of who will receive the relief and have their voting rights restored.

    I also see a potential challenge on this with registrants being called upon to fight for their right to vote in the sunshine state.

    • Facts should matter

      You damn right it would have been even closer or possibly a different outcome from the results.

      This is also a form of voter suppression because we are demonized and disenfranchised!

  8. Will Allen

    Same old, same old. Anything that is denied to anyone convicted of a $EX crime must be denied to anyone convicted of any significant crime. We either let the people vote or we don’t. People who don’t follow that do not deserve any rights themselves and all Americans should work to ensure that their rights are abused and denied. Let’s keep America divided. Sad. But it must be done.

  9. Curiouser

    Did anyone notice that in recent months, two bills were signed into law by Governor Brown, SB 10 (Pretrial Release or Detention), and SB 215 (Diversion for Mental Health Disorders) that exclude nearly every sex-related offense from the benefits offered by these bills? California isn’t far behind Florida when it comes to things of this nature.

  10. Ro.

    Could this also be a Freedom of speech/expression issue. That would elevate it to the federal level.

  11. AJ

    The long and storied history of voter disenfranchisement: https://felonvoting.procon.org/view.timeline.php?timelineID=000016

  12. ReadyToFight

    Uh…..according to the Holier than tho Morally upright Law Makers Every Goddam Sex Offense is a Felony.
    This pisses me off to no end 😡
    Zero Tolerance you say???
    Judge not as you too shall be Judged Mother F@ker

  13. mike r

    Wow, voting is the bedrock of our nation, how the hell they get away with this is insane. No taxation without representation and all that. So I take it felons no longer have to pay any kind of taxes then correct? (sarcasm of course because the gov. sure as hell do not care about them being felons when they are taking their money. That is how that needs to be challenged if it has not already been. No voting for representation, no paying taxes your honor), I do not have time to get into reading everything about it but I will say again it is insane.

  14. Timothy

    @The D party’s move here under Gov. Frist reign was an honest effort to re-enfranchise felons and it worked to restore voting rights to 150K felons in Florida. The democrats must think they’ll get votes by doing so, but there is no guarantee. A person resorted may vote R…right?

    The certain exclusions of sex deviants and killers appears reasonable to the general public just like SOR. However the notion denies EQUAL PROTECTION to those “similarly situated” “With felony convicion.” Proof IMHO that no ‘constitution ‘ be in foundation.

    I find it unreasonable for Registered persons to vote for either party.
    Big data, big gov labor, and Big brother are one and the same. I’m also anticipating facial recognition use and it’s implications toward public “stops” based on false alarms of danger!

    • norman

      Even sooner than that is license plate scanning technology. It’s already making it’s way into police vehicles in CA. Let’s say you are taking your child to school, you are on the SOR and a cop scans your license plate. You had better be prepared to prove that that is your child.

    • Harry

      The only thing that the Republicans and the Democrats can agree on is, bashing former sex offenders, for votes.

  15. David

    🤔 I’m confused. Why can a murderer be referred to as a “crime of passion”, when an actual passion crime – such as consensual sexual activity between a 16 year old and an 18 year old – can be referred to as a sexual assault?? So “passion” is a qualifying reason for violence – even murder, but not a reasonable explanation for sexual activity?? 🤔

    • NPS

      You’re comparing two different definitions. Passion is defined as an uncontrollable emotion…any emotion. So it fits for a type of murder. Passion is also defined as intense love, which can be applied to the “crime” you mentioned. There’s also a third definition: suffering/death, but that is in a religious context (a la The Passion of The Christ).

  16. Eric

    Seeing how close the election is in Florida I do believe if people on the registry had been able to vote it would have went differently. Governor Scott is no friend of people on the registry. So this is definitely suppressing a particular minority group that would most likely vote n a similar manner.

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