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Posted: 2019-01-10 15:26:16

January 8, 2019; CBS Miami, CNN, Pensacola News Journal, and WUFT

“More than one million Floridians with felony convictions get back their right to vote Tuesday,” notes Joan Murray for the Miami affiliate of CBS. Proposition 4, which passed with 64.5 percent of the vote, restores voting rights to over one million formerly incarcerated Floridians who have completed their sentences. It was, as NPQ noted last November, a bright spot for expanding voting rights in an election often marred by voter suppression.

Now, as Emanuella Grinberg of CNN explains, “Returning citizens…will be able to register online or in person to vote just as any other Floridian would.” Floridians seeking to have their voting rights restored, she adds, need “to make sure they have completed all the terms of their sentence so they can honestly declare on a voter registration form that their right to vote has been restored.”

Grinberg notes that, “In recent weeks, civil rights groups have ramped up outreach and education efforts to encourage those with felony convictions to register to vote. Completion of a sentence includes any period of incarceration, probation, parole, and financial obligations imposed as part of a person’s sentence, according to the coalition of groups that endorsed the legislation and is coordinating voter registration drives.”

A number of accounts relate stories of people who went to their county registrar on Tuesday, the first day when their rights were eligible to be restored. In Miami, Murray notes, “Several applicants went to the Dorothy Bendross Social and Economic Institute in Miami to register.”

“So many people have fought for this right and that’s why I’m here today,” Louis Irving told Murray.

In Alachua County, which includes the college town of Gainesville, Cat Gloria of WUFT writes about Rhonda Shephard, who said to her, “Girl, I’m going to go outside and scream,” after she became one of about 50 people to register to vote in Alachua County on Tuesday. Gloria notes

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