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Floridians believe in Second Chances, we need to make sure Florida law does too.
In a day in age where voter turnout is at an all time low and division in our society is at an all time high it has become critical that we all do what we can to get as many people to vote as possible. Unfortunately, there are a large group of individuals who can make a difference in every election but only if they have their constitutional rights restored.
The State of Florida leads the entire nation with over 1 million citizens who have been stripped of the right to vote due to a past conviction of a felony. These are people who have done their time, paid their dues to society and now want to continue to contribute to their community by being a part of the electoral system as they rightly should be.
The path to have their rights restored is almost next to impossible and one that has been declared unconstitutional by a Federal judge. This November we can grant this large group of people who span all types of demographics their rights back by voting YES on Amendment 4. While it holds true that anyone convicted of murder or sex crimes will be excluded anyone else convicted of lesser crimes such as white collar will have their civil rights reinstated.
While there are many opponents and detractors of Amendment 4 as written due to its exclusion of such a large group of people any movement forward is a step in the right direction to right a wrong that continues to be perpetuated in this State. While the exclusion of murderers and convicted sex, criminals is indiscriminate they will still have a recourse to appeal on a case per case basis.
While you may think of these people as criminals keep in mind they are mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers, sons and fathers who have made a mistake and paid for it with either jail time, restitution or in most cases both. In a state known for having long deceased individuals voting for politicians we need actual voters who care about society and have paid their dues to be completely reintegrated back into the fold. Vote yes and make sure to make a difference in not only their lives but in the outcome of elections for years to come!
Jesus D. Rodriguez
Calle Ocho News Journalist