RESTORING VOTING RIGHTS FOR CONVICTED FELONS WHO HAVE SERVED THEIR SENTENCES

05/17/01

About 500,000 people in Florida are convicted felons who have served their prison sentence. Under state law these felons have no civil rights, unless they make a personal appeal to the Governor and cabinet to have those rights restored. Of the 500,000, approximately one third are African Americans. Our guest today (Howard Simon, director of the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union) said the policy of denying voting rights is unconstitutional, racist, and akin to requiring literacy tests of voters in the Jim Crow-era South. He discussed efforts to change the law including appeals to the governor, lawsuits and a town meeting scheduled for 5/18 in the Suitcase City area of Tampa.

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