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Florida to let former felons vote
The Florida Division of Elections has done an about-face and decided it will allow voting by almost 2,500 former felons whose restored voting rights had been threatened with revocation.
The agency initially said state law required that former felons be deleted from the voter rolls because they had registered to vote before they were granted clemency. Florida is one of seven states that do not automatically restore felons' civil rights after they finish their prison sentences.
Governor should do more to restore ex-felons' rights
In his June 28 letter, Gov. Bush states that ''Florida isn't withholding civil rights from ex-felons.'' Yet more than 600,000 Floridians have lost the right to vote because of a past felony conviction even though they have served their time.
Florida's constitutional voting ban, a Jim Crow relic from 1868, must be overturned. But by focusing only on the state Constitution, the governor evades his responsibility to improve the rights-restoration process. Until there is constitutional reform, the governor and his cabinet can amend -- tomorrow, if they choose -- the Rules of Executive Clemency to make the restoration of the right to vote virtually automatic.
More than 85 percent of all offenders must await a hearing before the governor. Hearings take place only four times each year. At the last three, the governor heard an average of 58 rights-restoration requests and denied many. At that rate, it will take decades to address the injustice, even with the governor's recent announcement of thousands of restorations as a result of ACLU litigation.
State won't try to force 48,000 voters off rolls
Florida's top election officials conceded Tuesday that they will take no legal action to force the state's 67 election supervisors to remove nearly 48,000 voters who have been identified by the state as potentially ineligible to vote.
This means the fate of these voters, some of whom appear to have been wrongly placed on the list, will be up to the election supervisor in each county, many of whom have been hesitant so far to remove any voter from the rolls.
Questions over felon 'purge list' threaten Bush
As thousands of Floridians learn that a state list could wrongly bar them from voting, Democrats have found a rallying point for the November elections and proof, they say, of long-held suspicions that Gov. Jeb Bush's elections machinery is rigged against them.
More than 2,100 people, many of them black Democrats, remain on the list of potentially ineligible ex-con voters despite winning clemency -- and the right to vote -- after their crimes, The Herald reported Friday.
Democrats and activists call it a ''purge list'' -- a phrase that deeply irks the governor
Documents detail more voting machine flaws
As state and Miami-Dade County election officials work to approve software that will clear up a nagging problem with touch-screen voting machines, a Herald review of internal election department documents has found that there are a host of other flaws that have never been publicly acknowledged and are not expected to be fixed by the new programming