Thanks to a constitutional amendment approved by voters during the midterm elections, convicted felons are now registering to vote in the swing state of Florida.
Amendment 4 was passed as a ballot initiative with nearly 65 percent of the vote, surpassing the 60 percent requirement. The amendment restored the voting rights of convicted felons, with the exception of those who have committed rape and murder. Registration started Tuesday, with many convicts lining up to once again participate in the democratic process. (RELATED: This Ballot Initiative Could Change The Landscape Of American Politics)
Desmond Meade, who led the years-long effort to return the right to vote to 1.4M former felons in Florida, registered this morning at the Orange County elections office pic.twitter.com/lmyCTuhJeD
— Steven Lemongello (@SteveLemongello) January 8, 2019
There are an estimated 1.5 million convicted felons in Florida, making up roughly 10 percent of the state’s population. All of them will now be able to vote and, if past trends hold, seven out of every ten of them will vote for Democrats. Given Florida’s tendency to be decided by razor-thin margins, this could have implications for the 2020 race.
Both the 2018 Senate and gubernatorial races in Florida were decided by less than 35,000 votes and forced into a mandatory recount with Republicans Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis winning, respectively.
Both Scott and DeSantis will be sworn into their new positions Tuesday.