Monday, 19 November, 2018

Supermajority tax amendment approved by supermajority of voters

Tuesday's elections were seen as a referendum on Trump Tuesday's elections were seen as a referendum on Trump
Melinda Barton | 07 November, 2018, 10:14

Floridians approved a constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights to people with felony convictions once they complete their sentences, a historic move expanding the right to vote to about 1.4 million people and reverses a state policy rooted in the Jim Crow South.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) estimates 1.4 million convicted felons will now have the ability to vote in Florida.

The amendment, which needed a threshold of 60 percent to pass, restores voting rights to rehabilitated ex-felons, except those convicted of murder or sex crimes.

"Today, when democratic values are on the defensive worldwide", he said, "Florida voters made a resoundingly clear statement that the state's shameful lifetime ban on voting is not consistent with the values of democracy".

Of those large numbers, African-Americans largely benefit from the measure due to the fact they numerically make up the most convicted felons in the country. One out of every 13 African-Americans in the USA has lost their voting rights due to felony disenfranchisement laws, compared to one in every 56 non-black voters, the Sentencing Project report said. 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. While more than 150,000 people had their voting rights restored under Gov. Charlie Crist, Scott's predecessor, that number dwindled to just a few thousand under Scott.

Five days out from Election Day, voters were teetering between enshrining the amendment in the state's governing document and telling state lawmakers to kick rocks with 47 percent in favor and 34 percent opposed.

Shortly after taking office in 2007, then-Republican Governor Charlie Crist persuaded two of the state's three Cabinet members to approve rules that would allow the parole commission to restore voting rights for nonviolent felons without a hearing.

Stars like John Legend and Rihanna also expressed their support for the measure.

Amendment 4 received 65% of the vote, according to the Miami Herald, changing 150-year-old language in the state's constitution.

Florida Governor Rick Scott addresses the Chiefs of Police (IACP) annual convention at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 8, 2018. It was the deciding state in the 2000 election, and one of the most important ones in the 2016 election.