Florida state and local officials are at odds with voters over how to implement the recently-passed amendment to restore voting rights to some convicted felons, The Hill reports.
Amendment 4 would allow most felons who have served their sentence, excluding those convicted of murder or sex crimes, to vote.
It passed with 64 percent of the vote, but Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, a Republican, has said that state legislators ought to work out a framework for how election officials should act with regards to the amendment.
Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis, also a Republican, made a similar statement last week, telling The Palm Beach Post that lawmakers should draft “implementing language” in March.
“We have worked too hard and we’ve waited too long to get the right to vote back to just give it up to anyone,” said Desmond Meade, president of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), which helped draft the amendment.
“If anybody wants to do anything other than what the constitution says, you know what they do? Do the same thing that we did,” Meade added. “Change the constitution.”
“At the end of the day, you don’t get to undo election results because you don’t like the outcome,” said Melba Pearson, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida interim executive director.
“That is completely contrary to a democratic government. You have to respect the will of the people regardless of whether you agree with the results.”
“It does put us in an awkward situation,” said Orange County election supervisor Bill Cowles, who said that supervisors have yet to receive guidance on the amendment. “But we’re going to tell the potential voter: if you believe that ... you meet the requirements under the amendment, then come register.”
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