Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

ACLU of Florida Statement on Release of The Sentencing Project’s Report on the Impact of Felon Disfranchisement Laws

National research organization updates view of discriminatory laws rooted in racist voter suppression schemes
MIAMI, FL. -

Washington D.C.-based research organization The Sentencing Project today published a report, 6 Million Lost Voters, on the impact of laws banning people with past felony convictions from voting. Responding to the publication of the report, ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon stated:

"Today’s release of the study by The Sentencing Project demonstrates once again that the impact of disfranchisement laws is greatest in Florida.

"Florida’s lifetime voting ban, mandated in our state’s constitution, is the nation’s largest voter suppression scheme, barring approximately 1.6 million people from the polls – almost 10% of the voting-age population in our state.

"Florida’s ban is rooted in racist voter suppression schemes of the period immediately following the Civil War. The framers of Florida’s post-Civil War 1868 Constitution weren’t subtle or vague about their intent:  they created the Black Codes and unleashed selective enforcement of laws to ensure that the newly freed slaves would never exercise the right to vote and possess political power. 

"These provisions not only remain in effect today, they are disgracefully defended by current political leaders. 

"Gov. Scott continues to claim that he made it more difficult for those with a past felony conviction to regain their right to vote because he wants to 'make sure people have turned their life around.'"

"But people who have completed all the terms and conditions of a sentence deserve to have their rights restored. Gov. Scott and his cabinet are using these excuses as cover to maintain a discredited system that manipulates elections in which more than one in five Black Floridians are barred from voting.

"Florida voters may soon have an opportunity to amend the state’s constitution to remove this stain of Civil War-era racism and ensure that returning citizens are given every chance to participate in our democracy."

The Sentencing Project’s report 6 Million Lost Voters is available at the organization’s website: http://www.sentencingproject.org/

###

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Billionaires 'Had a Terrific Pandemic' While Inequality Killed Millions: Oxfam

A new report explains how inequality contributed to the death of 21,000 people each day of the pandemic while the wealthiest collectively got $1.2 billion richer every 24 hours.

Jon Queally ·


Biden Urged to Fire Covid Response Chief Over 'Damning' Failures

"Zients has failed to provide the materials necessary to improve the U.S. response, or the guidance necessary to keep the pandemic under control," argued one critic.

Jake Johnson ·


As Sinema Defends Filibuster, Progressives Say 'Vote Her the Hell Out'

"The filibuster is a meaningless Senate rule. It's a remnant of slavery used to block civil rights for generations."

Jake Johnson ·


Poor People's Campaign Readies 'Massive, Nonviolent' Effort to Save Democracy

"We are not in this for a moment, but for a movement," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. "Our deadline is victory."

Jake Johnson ·


Tsunami Triggered by Huge Volcanic Eruption Hits Tonga

The undersea volcano's eruption also sparked tsunami warnings for Fiji, Samoa, New Zealand, and the West Coast of the United States.

Common Dreams staff ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo