Floridians will Vote on Voter Restoration Rights Amendment in November 6th Election

This week, Florida certified that an important amendment will be placed on the November ballot asking the public to vote on whether or not to restore the voting rights of 1.6 million former felons who have paid their debt to society.

Florida is one of just three states that permanently bans ex-felons from voting unless they receive clemency from the state, which is difficult to obtain.

Role of the Florida Young Democrats of Indian River

The Florida Young Democrats of Indian River (FYDIR) were instrumental volunteers in helping to place this amendment on Florida’s November 6th ballot. They mobilized throughout Indian River County to gather signatures for the petition.

The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), led by Desmond Meade, launched the petition drive in all 27 congressional districts to gather the required 766,000 signatures to add the amendment on the 2018 ballot.

Mead is a former felon who went on to earn both an undergraduate and a law degree.  However, because of his felony conviction, he was unable to both vote and practice law in Florida.

Florida Democratic Party Supports Constitutional Amendment

Mead turned his plight into a state-wide effort which ignited the Florida Democratic Party.  They passed the “Ending Felon Disenfranchisement in Florida” resolution at their state convention in November in support of this grassroots campaign.

Meade, who was the keynote speaker of the Democrats’ of Indian River Blue Gala in November, noted “I am extremely grateful for the Floridians who have really stepped up to make Florida a second-chance state.”

Democrats of Indian River Will Continue to Advocate for Second Chances

Speaking on behalf of the Young Democrats of Indian River, we are honored to be a small part of this big story, collecting nearly 500 local signatures for this ballot initiative which ultimately acquired over 1 million statewide.

The ending to this story has not been written, however.  It will be up to Florida’s voters in November of 2018 to serve justice to those of our citizens who have fulfilled their contract with the state by passing this amendment.  The Democrats of Indian River will continue to advocate on behalf of second chances and FRRC.

Join us.  Be part of the solution.


–Megan Hoots, Chair of the Florida Young Democrats of Indian River