WHAT THEY ARE SAYING… On 150th Anniversary of Florida’s Disenfranchisement Law Floridians Are Ready to Vote YES on Amendment 4

May 4, 2018

CONTACT: (904) 274-6091 Press@ffafd.org

 

Orlando, FL –Florida enshrined disenfranchisement in its constitution 150-years ago today. This law was put in place in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. Today, Florida is one of only four states with a lifetime ban on voting and permanently excludes 1.4 million Floridians, who have served their time and paid their debts to society, from voting. Now is the time to retire this antiquated law by voting YES on Amendment 4 in November. Here’s what Floridians from all walks of life and all parts of the Sunshine State are saying:

Angel Sanchez was born and raised in Miami, and is a returning citizen. He went from serving time in prison and homelessness to being a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, receiving the Distinguished Graduate Award from the University of Central Florida and is currently attending University of Miami Law School. Angel said, “I know I have made mistakes in my past, and I have also served the sentence that was the consequence of those mistakes. I am so proud to stand with Floridians of all walks of life who believe that returning citizens like me have earned a Second Chance and deserve an opportunity to earn back the eligibility to vote.”

Career Navy veteran Anne Rawley currently resides in St. Petersburg. She previously served as a nurse with assignments both stateside and overseas, including 2 combat zone tours, one in Danang Vietnam and the other in Saudi Arabia during the 1st Gulf War.  She said, “Some of the people who serve in uniform return to our communities with scars from the battlefield – those scars may be invisible. Some of them may make mistakes when they return, but those mistakes shouldn’t be a mark they carry for a lifetime. When a person who has served their country has also fulfilled their debt to society, they have earned back the eligibility to vote.”

Pastor Marcel Davis was ordained over 30 years ago and currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Adoration For A New Beginning Church in Pensacola, Florida. Pastor Davis said, “We believe in redemption and in Second Chances. Now is the time to restore the eligibility to vote to Floridians who have done their time and paid their debts. Ending this one-hundred and fifty year old law and giving Floridians a Second Chance is simply the right thing to do.”

U.S. Navy veteran, Cynthia Fussell O’Donnell is originally from Florida’s Panhandle and currently resides in Mount Dora. She served as a Surface Warfare Officer aboard the USS Hue City out of Jacksonville, FL and the USS Mahan out of Norfolk, VA. Cynthia said, “Florida’s lifetime voting ban has a major impact on people who have served our country in the military. In the last 5 years, approximately 10,000 military veterans have fully completed their sentence and paid their full debt to society but still can’t vote due to Florida’s broken system. The number of military veterans who have been impacted over 150 years of this voting ban is incalculable.”

Pastor Ken DeWalt was called to ministry and served in the United Methodist Church for 17 years. He currently lives in Ft. Myers, Florida with his wife. Pastor DeWalt said, “A majority of Floridians support this effort to ensure that their fellow Floridians, family members, and friends who’ve made past mistakes, served their time and paid their debts to society are given a second chance and the opportunity to earn back the eligibility to vote. I am proud to be one of them.”

David Ayala currently lives in Orlando and is also a returning citizen. He went from serving time in prison to serving time as a leading community advocate. David said, “Florida’s system for people like me who have paid our debt to society is broken. Currently, we have an arduous and multi-year process in place which allows politicians to pick and choose who gets to vote.  This system has created a lifetime voting ban for returning citizens, despite completing all terms of their sentencing. After 150 years, I am proud to be a part of the grassroots movement of Floridians who are fixing this broken system.”

Walter A. McNeil was elected Sheriff of Leon County in 2016. In his distinguished 35-year career as a public servant, Sheriff McNeil has served as Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, and President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Sheriff McNeil said, “Second Chances is a matter of public safety. According to the Florida Parole Commission, returning citizens who vote are three times less likely to re-offend than those who don’t vote. One-hundred and fifty years is long enough. Let’s make our communities safer by fighting for Second Chances.”

To learn more about the Second Chances Campaign, please visit www.SecondChancesFL.org

###

Pd. pol. adv. paid for by Floridians for a Fair Democracy, Inc., 3000 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., Suite 503, Clearwater, FL 33759.

Next Post.

Press Releases

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING… On 150th Anniversary of Florida’s Disenfranchisement Law Floridians Are Ready to Vote YES on Amendment 4

CONTACT: (904) 274-6091 Press@ffafd.org   Orlando, FL –Florida enshrined disenfranchisement in its constitution 150-years ago today. This law was put in place in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. Today, Florida is one of only four states with a lifetime ban on voting and permanently excludes 1.4 million Floridians, who...

Read More