MIAMI, April 2 — Hinting that a remarkable turnaround in state policy was near, Gov. Charlie Crist said Monday that he hoped to persuade members of the Florida cabinet this week to end the practice of stripping convicted felons of their right to vote.And that's only counting the felons, let alone those who ended up on the caging lists erroneously-on-purpose or who were intimidated into not voting or whose provisional vote wasn't counted, or....
Florida is the most populous of three states whose constitutions require withdrawal of voting rights from all convicted felons, and it has the nation’s largest number of disenfranchised former offenders. The other two states are Kentucky and Virginia.
Felons in Florida who have served their prison and probation time can apply to have their voting rights reinstated, but the process can be time consuming and complex. Only a few hundred have their rights restored each year in Florida, where the American Civil Liberties Union says 950,000 remain disenfranchised.
I hope the new governor is successful. This is an outrage, and the practice (of revoking voting rights of citizens) should be banned at the federal level, at least when it comes to national elections.
More compliance oversight and rights enforcement needs to be done in all of the states to recover public confidence in the voting process, no matter what kind of machines or ballots are used.