In the November mid-term election, Florida voters approved Amendment 4, the Voting Restoration Amendment, a ballot measure amending the state’s constitution to eliminate a provision that permanently removed the voting rights for well over a million state residents who have been convicted of felonies. The new amendment becomes Article VI, sections 4(a) and (b) of
Feb. 1, a federal judge reviewing how Florida handles restoration of felons’ voting rights ruled it unconstitutional, because the process gives the Florida Executive Clemency Board sweeping, unregulated power to decide whether to re-enfranchise former felons. Tallahassee-based district judge Mark E. Walker decided that violates applicants’ First Amendment rights of free speech and association and
By Christopher Zoukis A sharply divided Virginia Supreme Court late last month reversed an executive order from Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s restoring voting rights for about 206,000 ex-felons, saying the April 22 order exceeded his lawful authority under the state’s constitution. The 4-3 decision on July 22 upheld a challenge filed a month earlier by
By Christopher Zoukis Rejecting a lawsuit filed by conservatives trying to rewrite the longstanding “one man, one vote” rule for drawing the lines for political districts, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled it is acceptable for states not to count just eligible voters, but to instead use the number of total residents. As a result,
An estimated 44,000 ex-felons in Maryland will have an easier time regaining the right to vote after being released from prison, following the end of a heated fight between the state’s governor and its legislature. Without a vote to spare, backers of bills (SB 340, HB 980) to allow ex-felons’ voting privileges to be restored
By Christopher Zoukis For the past several months those of us in the prison litigation realm have watched the battle over prisoners’ voting rights unfold in the United Kingdom and the European Union. Now we enjoy the ability to participate in our own such discussions, albeit not for current prisoners, but former prisoners in California.