Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Florida Voters Pass 11 Of 12 Proposed Constitutional Amendments

For Yraida Guanipa, an activist released from prison more than 10 years ago who currently defends other ex-convicts' human rights the change Florida residents to vote on felon voter rights initiative
Ellis Copeland | 07 November, 2018, 14:57

Floridians approved a constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights to people with felony convictions once they complete their sentences, a historic move expanding the right to vote to about 1.4 million people and reverses a state policy rooted in the Jim Crow South. But some activists criticized the amendment for excluding individuals convicted of murder or sex crimes. Prior to the vote, some 1.5 million Floridians, roughly 9.2% of voting-age residents, have completed their sentences without being able to vote.

"We have returned!" Desmond Meade, president of Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, told a room of overjoyed supporters, some of them teary-eyed, at an election night watch party in Orlando. "Our victory today shows that if we unify around our shared values, reaching out across parties and beyond politics as usual, we all win".

The ballot initiative for Amendment 4 to Florida's Constitution could majorly affect future elections in the swing state, which has been known for its very tight voting outcomes.

About 10 percent of Florida's population has a felony conviction, as the Intercept reported, and people of color are overrepresented in this demographic; one in five African-Americans in Florida have a felony conviction, a legacy of the war on drugs. This added to Florida's already lengthy wait list as the state now has a backlog of more than 10,000 cases.

In a first, 2 Muslim women get elected in US Congress
A proud Palestinian, Tlaib has also been an advocate for Palestinian rights and is an outspoken critic of Trump. Omar made history in 2016 when she was elected the first Somali-American legislator in the U.S.


78 students kidnapped from Presbyterian school: Cameroon governor
Around a fifth of Cameroon's 22m people are English-speaking - a minority whose presence dates back to the colonial period. The men in the video said they would only release the students once the goal of creating a new state is achieved.


Suns buying out Tyson Chandler
Also, adding him will greatly reduce the amount of minutes McGee plays, helping him stay fresh throughout the rest of the season. The Suns finally made a move this weekend, and Chandler is a free agent again after he officially reached a buyout agreement .


What's going on: The Sunshine State has been turning heads with what has been labeled by some as this year's "most bizarre" ballot initiative. "A USA district judge found Florida's current system arbitrary and unconstitutional in March, and the case is under appeal", the Pensacola News-Journal reported on Tuesday evening.

Shortly after Amendment 4 passed, Trump-aligned Republican Ron DeSantis narrowly defeated progressive Democrat Andrew Gillum in the race for Florida governor. A disproportionate share of those arrested and incarcerated in Florida are minorities, particularly African Americans. The Amendment will bring about the largest expansion in voting rights since the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited racial discrimination in voting.

The burden of disenfranchisement also fell most harshly on black voters, according to the Times/Herald analysis. It also received a groundswell of grassroots support from ex-offenders and their families, who say those who paid their debt to society should be returned to full citizenship. Scott boasted in Clemency Board meetings, where he presided alongside the three state Cabinet members, that "there's absolutely no standards so we can make any decisions we want".

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