What is Voting Restoration - Amendment 4?
The ballot language stated “This amendment restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who would continue to be permanently barred from voting unless the Governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting rights on a case by case basis.”
What does the passage of Amendment 4 mean for convicted felons who were previously deemed ineligible to register to vote or never registered to vote?
Effective January 8, 2019, convicted felons who meet the requirements of Amendment 4 are eligible to register and vote as long as they have not been convicted of murder or a sexual offense and have completed all terms of their sentence, including:
- Prison or jail time;
- Parole, probation, or other forms of supervision; and
- Payment of the total amount of all fines, fees, costs, and restitution ordered as part of the felony sentence.
- A person has the option to petition a court to terminate, upon consent of the person or entity owed, a financial obligation (i.e., fine, fee, cost, and restitution), or convert such obligation to community service (section 98.0751(2)(a)5.e., Fla. Stat.). If converted, the terms of the sentence are deemed complete when the person completes the community service.
A person with a murder or sexual felony conviction is ineligible to vote in Florida unless the person’s right to vote is restored by the State Clemency Board. To apply for clemency, visit the website for the Florida Commission on Offender Review (FCOR) at https://www.fcor.state.fl.us or contact FCOR at (toll-free) 1-800-435-8286, or 850-488-2952.
How does someone know if their voting rights have been restored?
It is the applicant’s responsibility to affirm that all information submitted on the voter registration application is true [Florida Statute 97.053(5)(a)8].
The Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections is available to assist applicants with the voter registration process. Call (727) 464-VOTE (8683), email Election@VotePinellas.com or visit VotePinellas.com.
The following Florida agencies have resources to assist applicants in verifying sentencing obligations:
- Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, (727) 464-7000, www.mypinellasclerk.org. Please note: the applicant must call the Florida county where sentenced
If you are unsure about fines, fees, costs and restitution, and the impact upon restoration of voting rights, you may ask for an advisory opinion from the Florida Division of Elections at DivElections@dos.myflorida.com, or (850) 245-6290. Please review section 106.23(2), Florida Statutes, and Florida Administrative Code Rule 1S-2.010 for how to ask for an advisory opinion and what information is required.
If a person was convicted of a felony in another state, can he/she register to vote in Florida?
A felony conviction in another state makes a person ineligible to vote in Florida only if the conviction would make the person ineligible to vote in the state where the person was convicted. You will need to contact the agency or agencies in the jurisdiction(s) of conviction to determine if your right to vote has been restored by completion of all or part of the terms of your sentence, by grant of clemency after you applied for it, or by other operation of law in that jurisdiction, whichever is applicable. (Agencies that you may have to contact include but are not limited to the clerk of court, corrections agency in the state of conviction and/or board that grants clemency).
If a voter was removed from the voter roll due to a felony conviction, will he/she be automatically re-registered to vote?
No. An applicant must re-register to vote. When completing a paper voter registration application, be sure to complete Sections 1 –7 and sign the oath at the bottom of the application. State law requires all voters to be registered at least 29 days before an election.
You may register to vote:
If an applicant applied to register to vote, what happens now?
A new Voter Information Card from the Supervisor of Elections office will be sent within a few weeks of registering. If not received, please contact our office to ensure we have the correct address.
Once registered, voters need to keep registration information (signature, name, address and political party affiliation) up to date. Voters can update their information by visiting VotePinellas.com or calling (727) 464-VOTE (8683).