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
June 14, 2016

The Color of Justice 2016 Report

African Americans are incarcerated in state prisons across the country at more than five times the rate of whites, and at least ten times the rate in five states. This report documents the rates of incarceration for whites, African Americans, and Hispanics in each state, identifies three contributors to racial and ethnic disparities in imprisonment, and provides recommendations for reform.
publications
October 07, 2021

Sign-on Letter: Pass the Redefinition of Child Amendment Act of 2021

Justice organizations urge the Mayor and the Council of the District of Columbia to pass Bill 4-0338, the Redefinition of Child Amendment Act of 2021 as a necessary, common sense approach to juvenile justice reform that will create better outcomes for youth and communities, will treat children as children, and will make significant steps forward in advancing racial equity.