Friday, August 3, 2012

Thousands of Florida ex-felons may not know they can vote

There are a lot of ex-felons in Florida. They did their time for crimes they committed and some of them were arrested after they served in the military but never received the help they needed after war. They think they lost their rights to vote in this state but they haven't.

Thousands of Florida ex-felons may not know they can vote
By Michael Peltier
Fri Aug 3, 2012

(Reuters) - More than 13,000 ex-felons may be eligible to vote in Florida but don't know it because the notices the parole board mailed to them were returned as undeliverable, the American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday.

The civil rights group raised the concern after analyzing more than 17,000 names of ex-felons who had their voting rights automatically restored by the Florida Parole Commission.

The list was obtained under the state's public records law and included ex-felons whose Restoration of Civil Rights certificates were returned undelivered to the parole commission.

Florida is one of a minority of U.S. states that does not automatically restore civil rights once a felon has completed a sentence.

The certificates were sent between 2007 and March 2011 under a short-lived policy that automatically restored civil rights to nonviolent offenders.

The policy was repealed in March 2011 by Florida Governor Rick Scott and a newly elected Florida Cabinet, which voted to make it more difficult for ex-felons to get their civil rights back.

After reviewing 17,604 names of those who had their rights restored, the ACLU said it found 13,517 who were not registered to vote.
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