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FL Amendment Aims to Restore Rights to 1.5 Mil Ex-Felons

Erik Hersman
A sign outside of an Orlando center Election Day

After a petition was signed by nearly 850,000 Floridians, the decision of whether or not voting rights will be restored to former felons in the state is now in the hands of the people.

It comes in the form of Amendment 4 on the upcoming November ballot. The amendment needs 60 percent of the vote to become law, but that might not be a problem, according to a new bipartisan poll that shows nearly three-quarters of voters support it.

Estimates say, if passed, it could restore rights to nearly 1.5 million ex-felons.

100,000 people had their rights restored under former Gov. Charlie Crist, but automatic restoration ended soon after Gov. Rick Scott took office.

That’s just scratching the surface of the uphill battle to this point, as Neil Volzcan surely speak to. Volz is the political director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, and he joins Gulf Coast Live to talk about how Amendment 4 made it to the ballot in the first place.

Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
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