During the Nov. 6 election, around 64 percent of voters decided to pass Florida Amendment 4, which restores voting rights to people with prior felony convictions upon completion of their sentences, including prison, parole and probation.
This does, however, exclude those convicted of murder or a sexual offense. Clearly, a number of people were sensible when voting on this amendment, which is pretty unheard of considering the number of overwhelmingly ignorant and hypocritical individuals living in this state.
Going into this election, Florida was one of just four remaining states in which convicted felons did not regain the right to vote without the approval of a state officer or board. It is a relief to see people receive a second chance in life, especially considering the important restrictions behind the amendment that excludes those who commit heinous crimes.
Data collected by the Florida Commission on Offender Review has shown that the majority of felons who regain suffrage and other civil rights do not commit new crimes and have indeed learned their lesson.
We want people who have hindered society to return in a productive manner, and this is a fair way to encourage them to do so. Registering to vote will hopefully inspire people to become informed on a variety of political topics and not simply vote in a blind manner.
Then again, that is what the majority of Florida’s voters do anyway, so there is not much of an effect in that sense. This year has been substantial in pushing for individuals to vote, and this amendment restores this right to nearly 1.5 million Floridians.
Not only will this be a vital factor in the next local elections, but also in the future presidential ones. It would be foolish if we as Floridians were to encourage those who are eligible to vote do actually do so, yet deny those who have made mistakes and served their time the right to contribute to society. The principle factor behind this amendment is to incite a new movement of community participation. No longer will a vast number of minds be excluded from major ideas and events, which is a comforting thought to consider in today’s global darkness.