It will be interesting to see how this impacts the 2020 election.
Tuesday will mark an extraordinary milestone for Florida as the right to vote is restored to more than 1 million former felons in the state.
In what’s described as one of the largest enfranchisements of U.S. citizens in the past 100 years, most ex-felons in the state who have completed the terms of their sentence, including parole and probation, can register to vote either online or at their local elections office beginning Jan. 8. The measure doesn’t apply to those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.
“It’ll be a joyous day,” a pastor who was convicted of armed robbery as a teenager told The Washington Post.
There are varying rules for felons and voting in different states. Some lose their right to vote forever. Some never lose it. Some get it back after a period of time. What makes this significant is that it is a big change in a big state. Florida currently has about 14 million registered voters, so this is an immediate 7% increase in the pool of voters. In a state where elections are often decided by a few thousand votes, this will make a significant difference.
On the issue itself, I generally think that most non-violent felons should have their rights restored after they have completed the entire sentences – including post-incarceration supervision. This includes voting and 2nd Amendment rights.