Gator Law ACLU and Restoration of Civil Rights Project promotes constitutional amendment

Published: November 2nd, 2015

Category: News

Courtesy of Ben Silva (3L)

Over 1.5 million Floridians, 10 percent of our voting age population, have had their civil rights taken away permanently simply for being convicted felons. They cannot exercise their constitutional right to vote, serve on a jury or hold public office. Florida has some of the harshest voting restrictions for ex-offenders in the nation. However, it was not always this way. Under the Charlie Christ administration, non-violent felons automatically had their civil rights restored. Over 150,000 people had their civil rights restored. Under Rick Scott’s administration, less than 1,000 people have had their rights restored.

The systematic disenfranchisement must not continue. The ACLU of Florida is leading a coalition of civil rights groups and faith-based organizations to get a constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot which would ensure automatic restoration of civil rights for non-violent offenders once their sentence is complete.

Gator Law ACLU and the Restoration of Civil Rights Project will conduct a petition drive to gather the required signatures to get this amendment on the ballot. The petition drive will take place on Saturday, Nov. 21, during the taligate party for the UF v. Florida Atlantic University football game. Come earn some pro-bono/community service hours and enjoy the party. Lunch will be provided by the AFL-CIO for all volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Ben Silva, Senior Advisor for Gator Law ACLU, at bensilva80@ufl.edu.