Forcing FL ex-felons to beg for voting rights ruled unconstitutional

Florida felons may soon earn back voting rights without having to petition for them, as they do in the current system.

Proponents of broader voting rights saw a surprising win in Florida where a federal judge stuck down the state’s current…

The ruling by Judge Mark Walker does not address the legality of the disenfranchisement, a law that will be voted on in November, but instead focuses on the state’s rather haphazard system of restoring voter rights by petition. The system required felons to individually apply for restoration which often included begging the governor or cabinet member and made the restoration of voting rights a personal decision by a state official. This practice led to rights being restored (or not) based on arbitrary matters such as number of speeding tickets or religious affiliation, and sometimes the decision could rest on a promise to vote for a particular party or candidate.