Florida voting rights group nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, which pushed for the passage of Amendment 4 in Florida, has been nominated this year for a Nobel Peace Prize. Amendment 4, which passed in 2018, restores the voting rights of people with felony convictions after they complete the terms of their sentence.
Deputy Director Neil Volz says that restoring voting rights is a way to uphold and expand democracy.
“It seems like every other year, returning citizens, those of us with past felony convictions, are on the front lines of this conversation around democracy,” said Volz. “Especially here in Florida, where we passed Amendment 4, expanded democracy more than we had in our country's history in 50 years, and yet there's still continual struggle to live up to the promise of Amendment 4—the full promise of Amendment 4—to see a vibrant democracy in which every voice is heard. And we know that in the process, when we see that, all of our communities benefit.”
Since the amendment passed, the DeSantis administration has tried to cripple it, by taking such actions as arresting returning citizens who have tried to vote.
Volz goes on to say that the nomination validates and supports the group’s work for a better Florida.
“We all benefit when people who have barriers to reentry, to access to education, to opportunity and employment, that when those barriers come down,everybody benefits in the community,” Volz said.
The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition was nominated for the prize by the American Friends Service Committee, which is the same group that nominated Martin Luther King, Jr.,when he won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. The ultimate winner of the prize this year will be announced, Volz says, near the end of the year.