Skip to main content
News

Nearly a Quarter of Florida’s Black Residents Can’t Vote

December 09, 2015
The Intercept documents the scale of felony disenfranchisement in Florida, the policies that have excluded so many from the ballot box, and their disproportionate impact on the black population.

The Intercept documents the scale of felony disenfranchisement in Florida, the policies that have excluded so many from the ballot box, and their disproportionate impact on the black population.

No other state has a larger number of disenfranchised citizens than Florida, where more than 1.5 million people have lost the right to cast a ballot on Election Day, according to The Sentencing Project, a nonprofit prison reform group. Among Florida’s black population, the rate of disenfranchisement is high, with nearly a quarter of African-Americans prohibited from voting.

The 1.5 million figure is from 2010, and the disenfranchised population in Florida may be greater today, as the state’s disenfranchisement policies have become even more stringent since then. When Republican Governor Rick Scott took office in 2011, he reversed an executive order by his predecessor, Charlie Crist, enacting automatic rights restoration for many individuals who had completed their sentences.

Scott introduced new rules requiring that people convicted of nonviolent felonies wait five years before they can apply to have their civil rights restored; those convicted of violent and certain more serious felonies must wait seven years to apply. Under Crist, tens of thousands of felons, on average, won back their right to vote each year. So far, Gov. Scott has restored the rights of just 1,866 ex-felons, while tens of thousands of former inmates are released each year, stripped of their voting rights.

Read the full article in the Intercept.

 
Related Posts
publications
September 22, 2021

Sign-on Letter: Stop Sequel Pomegranate’s Abuse of Ohio's Youth and Families

Pomegranate survivors and youth justice organizations request a meeting with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to discuss ways to prevent placement of youth in for-profit youth residential treatment facilities, and to ensure that youth receive care in safe environments free from abuse and neglect.
publications
September 22, 2021

In the Extreme: Women Serving Life Without Parole and Death Sentences in the United States

One of every 15 women in prison — amounting to more than 6,600 women — is serving a life sentence and nearly 2,000 of these have no chance for parole. Another 52 women in the U.S. are awaiting execution. Many women serving extreme sentences were victims of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse long before they committed a crime.