Florida voters approve Amendment 4 on restoring felons’ voting rights

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Voters passed an initiative on Tuesday's ballot that renewed voting rights to the majority of felons who have completed their sentences, including probation and restitution, according to an ABC News projection.

Throughout the campaign, the ballot measure gained star-studded support from the likes of "Orange Is The New Black" author Piper Chapman, John Legend, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, NFL stars like Warrick Dunn and even the Koch-backed Freedom Partners.

Amendment 4 passed by 64 percent and would re-enfranchise all felons in the state, save those convicted of murder or sex offenses.

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"'Kol hakavod' to the Reform Jewish communities in Florida - and across the US - who organized and mobilized to make this happen", the national Religious Action Center said on Twitter, using the Hebrew term for "well done".

While the move is expected to significantly influence the political future of Florida-as Berman put it on Twitter, "Restoring voting rights to 1.4 million people is game changer for voting rights & criminal justice reform & will transform Florida's political map"-Simon, and others, tied the outcome to attacks on democracy across the United States". More than 1 in 5 African-Americans in the state are disenfranchised because of the policy, according to an estimate from The Sentencing Project. One out of every 13 African-Americans in the US has lost their voting rights due to felony disenfranchisement laws, compared to one in every 56 non-black voters, the Sentencing Project report said. Scott and other top officials met only four times a year to consider applications to restore voting rights, causing a backlog of more than 10,000 requests.

"VOTE YES on Amendment 4 to restore voting rights to folks who have already paid their debt to society", Rihanna tweeted. Since 2011, Republican Governor Rick Scott has only given the vote back to about 2,000 people. Several people who appeared before the board this year said they had begun the process to get their voting rights restored over a decade ago.

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The implications for the state's elections are enormous.

According to the Florida state department, roughly 13 million citizens are registered to vote, with both Republicans and Democrats having almost 5 million party members each.

"This is proof when you speak up and work hard and fight for something you believe in, good things will happen", Stratemann said.

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