Every Election Day, when many of us take our right to vote for granted, there are roughly 1.5 million people in Florida who do not have the ability to vote because of Florida’s Civil War-Era ban on voting by individuals with prior felony convictions. But this year, you have a chance to be a part of changing that.
Give the right to vote back to Floridians who have served their time!
The ACLU of Florida, along with a coalition of organizations, is collecting signatures petitioning to end the lifetime voting ban with an amendment to Florida’s state constitution.
This amendment updates our criminal justice system to match the standards in other states, so that after a person convicted of a felony completes all terms of their sentence — including parole or probation — they earn their rights back. Currently in Florida, even after individuals complete their sentences, they must wait five to seven years, depending on their offense, before they can request a review of their application to restore their rights. Americans believe in second chances and that people should be able to earn forgiveness, but the ban on voting for ex-felons doesn’t reflect this important American value. Restoring a person’s right to vote gives them an opportunity for redemption and a chance to become full members of their community again.
Here’s what you can do to help restore the rights of your fellow Floridians:
- Download and print your petition here
- Fill out the required information and sign your name. (Please make sure that all information is accurate and that you include EITHER your Voter Registration number OR your Date of Birth)
- Mail your completed petition to the ACLU of Florida Tampa Office, PO BOX 25477, Tampa, FL 33622
The ACLU of Florida has worked for decades to end this policy, because no Florida citizen should be permanently shut out of our democracy. Help us fix this broken system that keeps too many Floridians from making their voices heard.