Supermajority tax amendment approved by supermajority of voters

Election Results Florida Passes Amendment to Restore Voting Rights for Most Felons

Previously, Florida was one of just four states in the USA that automatically and permanently revoked voting rights from anyone who had been convicted of a felony-level crime. Amendment 4 was one of 13 ballot initiatives that Floridians considered this year, but it has received the most national attention, as it enfranchises the largest population in US history since women's suffrage.

In a "huge and hard fought victory" that writer and activist Shaun King called "one of the most important of our lifetime", Florida on Tuesday overwhelming approved Amendment 4, which restores voting rights for 1.4 million state residents with past felony convictions who were barred from participating in elections even after completing their sentences.

"'Kol hakavod' to the Reform Jewish communities in Florida - and across the US - who organized and mobilized to make this happen", the national Religious Action Center said on Twitter, using the Hebrew term for "well done".

Prior to the amendment, convicted felons in the state had to wait five years after serving out their sentence and then apply with the Florida Clemency Board for the right to vote. More than 1 in 5 African-Americans in the state are disenfranchised because of the policy, according to an estimate from The Sentencing Project.

"Right about now, we can presently say that we have made history", said Rhonda Thomas, manager of the "Let My People Vote" campaign.

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But Republican Governor Rick Scott and the Cabinet ended automatic restoration of voting rights as one of Scott's first acts upon taking office in 2011. Scott and other top officials met only four times a year to consider applications to restore voting rights, causing a backlog of more than 10,000 requests.

Florida was one of three states where those convicted of a felony permanently lose their right to vote, the others being Iowa and Kentucky.

The implications for the state's elections are enormous. Blocking felons from voting while also passing criminal codes that targeted black people was a strategy to keep African-Americans from the ballot box.

According to the Florida state department, roughly 13 million citizens are registered to vote, with both Republicans and Democrats having almost 5 million party members each.

Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate who has conceded in Florida's gubernatorial race, supported the measure while his opponent, Republican Ron DeSantis, opposed it.

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