MIAMI, FL – From ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon:
“Today is a new day in Florida, a new day in America, and a new day for 1.4 million Floridians.
“Over 60% of Florida voters took a stand for fairness and voting rights, and to remove an ugly stain that has been in our state’s constitution since the Civil War era.
“This victory is the culmination of decades of hard work. For too long, Florida has been an extreme outlier – our state’s lifetime voting ban was the single most powerful voter suppression tactic in the country, shutting more people out of the voting booth and out of our democracy than any other single law or policy in the country.
"Today, when democratic values are on the defensive worldwide, Florida voters made a resoundingly clear statement that the state’s shameful lifetime ban on voting is not consistent with the values of democracy.
"We are incredibly grateful to the supporters and volunteers who have fought for voter restoration over the years and helped make this historic moment possible. ACLU of Florida volunteers called over 270,000 voters, sent over 780,000 texts and knocked on over 13,000 doors. It has been an honor to work alongside them.
“The constitutional amendment the voters have now approved is not the end of this saga; it is more like the end of the beginning. In the days and weeks ahead we will seek to work with newly elected Governor to ensure that Amendment 4 is implemented as intended by the Floridians who placed in on the ballot and voted to approve it – without delay and without imposing more burdens on the process to register to vote.
“But right now, we celebrate one of the largest expansions of the franchise in our nation’s history with the 1.4 million Floridians who will finally have a second chance and a voice in our democracy.”
The American Civil Liberties Union was a major backer of the Yes on 4 campaign, contributing more than $5 million to support the campaign to put Amendment 4 on the ballot and then secure the amendment’s passage.