The interpretation of “all terms of their sentence” became a flashpoint during this spring’s legislative session as lawmakers struggled to reach consensus on a measure to carry out the amendment.
The House’s party-line, 71-45 vote drew a rebuke from backers of the amendment, who called the bill “a failure to live up to the bipartisan commitment” demonstrated by the 61 percent of voters who approved Amendment 4.
Abolishing the Electoral College would level the playing field. It would ensure that people, not parties or mechanisms, determine who leads the country. Is that so bad? If you’re a Republican, yes.
Petition-gatherers to be registered with the state, ballots would have to include information about contributions raised by amendment sponsors, whether out-of-state petition circulators were used and whether amendments could lead to tax increases.
The long-planned march followed a late-night ruling from a federal appeals court that gave Gov. Scott a victory in a bitterly fought challenge to the state’s voter-restoration system.
Automatically restoring the right to vote for convicted felons in Florida could add between 600,000 and 1.6 million voters to the state’s voting rolls.
Voting rights of felons who have served their sentences, completed parole or probation and paid restitution would be automatically restored. Murderers and sex offenders would be excluded.
Some lawmakers have been emboldened both by President Donald Trump’s false claim that millions of noncitizens voted in 2016 and by his creation of a panel to investigate alleged fraud.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments from Rick Scott’s administration that the effort to remove suspected non-citizens from the voting rolls did not violate a federal law barring wide-ranging efforts to cleanse those rolls within 90 days of an election.
The ballot was long in part because the Legislature exempted itself from a 75-word limit on ballot summaries that applies to interest groups that put forth proposed amendments. And in some cases, the entire text of the amendment was listed.