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Voting Rights for Former Felons

December 6th, 2007 by flanews

A new website will help 250,000 former felons get one of their civil rights back. Since Governor Charlie Crist signed an order in April to cut through the backlog, only 15 percent of those eligible regained their rights. But as Chris Casquejo tells us, a coalition of groups says it will try to achieve where government has failed.

Hear it here: Voting Rights for Former Felons

250,000 former felons have their voting rights back and dont know it, says a coalition of groups. Non violent criminals who have paid their debt to society got their right to vote back automatically in April, but no effort has been made to tell them, until now.

Citizens have no idea that their voting rights have been restored, or that they must register to vote to go the polls in 2008, said Reggie Mitchell with the People for the American Way Foundation.

Two Democratic lawmakers have introduced a bill to require the secretary of state to tell local election supervisors about ex-felons who can now vote.

This is about making these citizens whole again and them going from restoration to participation,” said Sen. Tony Hill, a Jacksonville Democrat.

Clay Patrick spent a year in prison for cocaine trafficking in 1988.

The Clemency Board restored all of his rights. The right to vote is not something Patrick takes for granted.

I dont understand why people have to apply for their voting rights now. I think once theyre turned out and off probation, they should be restored.

Ex-felons who want to restore their civil rights can visit a new website to help them through the process.

With his rights back, Clay Patrick is looking forward. The question is whether thousands of others will know to look on the web to see if they are already eligible to vote.

Ex-offenders can visit www.restorerights.org or www.restoremyvote.com on the web or call a toll-free hotline at 1-877-60-RESTORE.

Posted in Criminal Justice, State News, Voting | 2 Comments »

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