Felons' rights initiative clears 300K signatures

Continuing to make progress toward reaching the 2018 ballot, backers of a proposed felons' rights constitutional amendment have submitted more than 300,000 petition signatures to the state.

The political committee “Floridians for a Fair Democracy” had submitted 301,064 valid signatures as of Thursday afternoon, according to the state Division of Elections website. As an indication of the progress, that total was up from 209,079 valid signatures on Oct. 11.

The committee, which is heavily supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, needs to submit a total of 766,200 signatures to get the proposal on the November 2018 ballot.

The proposal would automatically restore voting rights for all nonviolent felons who have served their sentences, completed parole or probation and paid restitution. Felons convicted of violent crimes, such as murder, would not be eligible.

Restoring felons' rights has long been a controversial issue in Florida.