Home | About | Donate

Implications for 2020 and Beyond as Judge Slams Florida's 'Nonsensical' Disenfranchisement of Felons

Implications for 2020 and Beyond as Judge Slams Florida's 'Nonsensical' Disenfranchisement of Felons

Julia Conley, staff writer

Calling Florida's disenfranchisement of felons who have completed their sentences "nonsensical" and unconstitutional, a federal judge on Thursday struck down the system that Republican Governor Rick Scott put in place in 2011.

Victory for the right to vote: A federal judge in Florida just struck down the state's voting rights restoration process for formerly incarcerated people. https://t.co/SpY59f7cuW

1 Like

Restoration of the franchise for those who have completed their sentences is only the beginning. There is no reason why those currently incarcerated, who have at least as much stake in the outcome of elections as anyone else, should be disenfranchised (except for the wish to tip the electoral scales toward mostly wealthy and white candidates).


I have never understood this. Suppose I commit a crime, am tried, convicted and serve my entire sentence. Why would that effect my future life? Why would I be excluded from jobs and housing and voting? How about Social Security? If I somehow find a job and work until retirement age, do I get SS? Why are you never forgiven if you pay your “debt to society”?


My guess is that this will be overturned on appeal. The Supreme Court has previously ruled that disenfranchisement of felons is constitutional (Richardson v. Ramirez 418 US 24).

If FL wants to allow restoration of the franchise to felons, it will have to go the route of MD, VA and others, and do it by either legislative action or executive order.

1 Like

Other first world fascists countries allow their citizens to vote WHILE incarcerated.


There’s only four states that don’t restore voting rights to felons after they’ve served? I thought all states didn’t restore them ever after felony conviction. Which states are these four?

With the prison population explosion from then 1980s we lost a lot of voters who could have tipped some close elections.


As we all know the founders never intended for the vast majority of us to ever have the right to vote. The purpose of elections is not to determine who represents us but to maintain control over us by the Elites who handpick those we vote for. This is simply one federal judge and does not reflect the policies of the US government or any of the states. If Governor Scott had been convicted of his company’s massive fraud against the federal government would he have had his right to vote immediately restored by his high priced lawyer?

1 Like

Could it have something to do with the 13th amendment, the one where slavery is still legal if you’re convicted and incarcerated? Stripping voting rights because of a conviction, or other nonsense, harkens back to the Jim Crow era.

1 Like

Kentucky, Tennessee and Wyoming join Florida on the list.

Mississippi and Nevada maintain a two-fold structure. Lesser crimes and first time offenders are in the clear, but certain felonious crimes can permanently disenfranchise the felon.

Most states recognize a felon’s right to vote after the sentence has been completed. A couple states allow felons to vote while incarcerated.

If anything, this all speaks to the value of standardizing electoral law at least in federal elections, and the specific need to actually include the right to vote in the Constitution.


I am hopeful that it won’t be overturned. Keep in mind that the judge in this Florida case did not rule that disenfranchisement of felons was unconstitutional - only the manner in which Florida was doing it without due process. The Governor and his self appointed board made the sole decisions without any written rules for process. In one case cited by the judge, a white male former felon had voted illegally and when he partitioned to have his voting rights restored and went before the governor’s board, the governor told him he wouldn’t get his voting rights restored since he had voted illegally. The man then said “actually, I voted for you” at which point Governor Scott restored his voting rights. It is the ability of the Governor to make that kind of capricious decision at his whim that Federal Judge Walker objected to.

1 Like

Becasue they needed to disenfranchise black people, and black people are poor poeple, and poor people commit much of the common street crime that gets people imprisoned. Which, on top of very discriminatory policing and sentencing, means most felons are black.

In other words, the “felons can’t vote” laws are a racist relic of Jim Crow.

1 Like

As a Florida citizen who signed the petition to get this on the ballot this November, I am ecstatic to see this judge’s decision. It’s long overdue! Now we just have to turn out and pass the amendment!

Because you live in “Dark Ages Amerika”.

Read the article again. If the amendment to the Florida Constitution is approved by the Voters in November, this will be a done deal! It will then be out of Rick Scott’s dirty hands.

IF it is passed. If it’s not passed, then whether or not the case is overturned, remains relevant.