January 8 is a historic day in Florida.
Amendment 4, passed by voters in November 2018, restores the right to vote for as many as 1.4 million former felons. Under Florida’s Constitution, it goes into effect on Tuesday, January 8.
Before the amendment passed, those who served their time could apply for clemency to a board headed by the governor. But the cumbersome process and backlog meant that only a small percentage of people bothered to apply. Thus, over 10 percent of Florida’s adult population was not eligible to vote.
With the passage of Amendment 4, people with felony convictions can have their voting rights restored after completion of all terms of their sentences including parole and probation. The Amendment does not apply to those convicted of murder or a felony sex offense.
Former felons can show up at the Supervisor of Elections office beginning Tuesday, January 8 and register to vote by affirming that they have fulfilled the terms of their sentences. There are three locations to register to vote:
Punta Gorda: 226 Taylor Street. 941-833-5400
Port Charlotte: 18500 Murdock Circle. 941-743-1387
Englewood: 6868 San Casa Drive. 941-681-3717
The Florida Restoration Rights Coalition has established a Hotline to address problems or questions with voter registration. The number is 1-877-698-6830.