In Florida, 87,000 Formerly Incarcerated People Have Registered to Vote
‘When they walk into that booth, they have just as much power as the richest person in the United States.’
Two years ago, Floridians approved Amendment 4 to restore voting rights to most state residents who had previously served time for felony convictions. And although Republicans in the state tried very hard to undo that progress by requiring returning citizens to pay off outstanding court fines and fees before they could vote, thousands were able to vote this election season — including Desmond Meade, who spearheaded Amendment 4 as president and executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.
“We have generated a renewed hope in communities and in individuals who thought their voice didn’t matter, or that they were not a part of the process,” Meade told GEN on Tuesday afternoon. “After tonight, they’re gonna know that when they walk into that booth, they have just as much power as the richest person in the United States — they have just as much power as the president — because their vote counted just as much as his did.”
In addition to registering returning citizens to vote, the organization fundraised millions of dollars to help pay off their fines and fees. “Of the 87,000 people who have registered since the passing of Amendment 4,” Meade said, “we know that around 37,000 of them have already voted.”