On November 6, 2018, Florida Constitutional Amendment 4 was overwhelmingly approved by Florida voters. Known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative the amendment allows those convicted of felony offenses to have their voting rights restored upon completion of their sentence.
While the requirements are relatively straightforward, there are many nuances that only a lawyer can properly assess. Making a mistake in your eligibility can land you in prison with each charge so far announced carrying a maximum penalty of five years of incarceration.
Florida Justice Center is the only nonprofit voter registration organization in the state qualified under current administrative rules to provide advice and guidance regarding an individual’s ability to register and vote. All clients are evaluated by a staff attorney to provide the most complete and accurate advice available.
To restore their right to vote a person with a felony conviction must:
- Complete their sentence, including term of supervision (i.e., prison or jail time, parole, and probation); and
- Make sure they owe no legal restitution or fines, fees, or costs; and
- Not have any pending criminal charges; and
- Not have been convicted of homicide or a felony sex offense.
Our staff attorneys verify voter eligibility using a four-step process. This multi-layered evaluation complies with current rules, regulations, and statutes to best ensure compliance with the law.
Our unique process includes:
- Review of client information from intake
- Request and review background check from private vendor
- Obtain advisory opinion from Department of State, Division of Elections
- Letter from attorney with the findings and all applicable documents received as part of the background investigation and eligibility check
While this process can be lengthy, it is better to wait and be certain of your eligibility to vote than risk arrests for illegally registering and voting, each of which can carry up to five (5) years in prison.
How We Help
We support voter registration organizations working to ensure nonpartisan access to the basic right to vote.
On August 18th, 2022 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced the arrest of 20 people for allegedly illegally registering and voting. Governor DeSantis labeled this arrests an “opening salvo” and so we believe there will be dozens, or possibly hundreds, of more arrests.
FLJC believes that every vote matters but those votes need to be filed in accordance with the law.