Cheers, Ken Hanly P.S. My apologies to Nathan and Justin for my gratuitous digs. Completely uncalled for.
Michael Hoover wrote:
> forwarded by Michael Hoover
> > This is an important measure since the loss of civil rights for convicted
> > felons punitively and disproportionately impacts African-American men.
> > Ex-cons may get voting restored
> > Gwyneth K. Shaw
> > Tallahassee Bureau
> > Published in The Orlando Sentinel on March 17, 2000
> > TALLAHASSEE -- A proposed constitutional amendment that would
> > allow convicted felons who have served their time to vote passed easily
> > Thursday through a Senate committee.
> > Florida's constitution now bans ex-convicts from voting, unless they
> > petition the state clemency board to restore their civil rights. Only a
> > small percentage do so.
> > The proposal, by Democratic Sens. Jim Hargrett, Mandy Dawson and
> > Betty Holzendorf, would automatically restore voting rights one year
> > after a prison term or probation is completed, unless a majority of the
> > state's clemency board disagrees. In order to hold public office, a person
> > with a felony conviction still would have to have civil rights restored.
> > The Senate Ethics and Elections committee unanimously approved the
> > idea. Similar legislation is being sponsored in the House by Democratic
> > Reps. Alzo Reddick and Cynthia Chestnut, but has yet to be heard in
> > committee. If the measure is passed by the Legislature, voters still would
> > have to approve the amendment to the constitution.
> > Hargrett, D-Tampa, said the proposal would put Florida on par with
> > many other states, including California, New York and Texas, that
> > automatically restore voting rights. While the 1999 session, with its
> > passel of anti-crime measures, might have been a better environment in
> > which to make the change, he said lawmakers need to move forward
> > now.
> > "This is not about public safety; this is not about being tough on crime,"
> > Hargrett said. "I believe it's about human rights."
> > Florida leads the nation in ex-felons who can't vote, with more than