1.5 Million Florida Felons Without A Vote
For 10 months, Meredith Sheldon and a team of journalists explored the fight Florida felons face after they leave the prison gates such as finding a home, securing a job and earning back their right to vote.
With the November election in sight, the team spent three months investigating how Florida felons attempt to regain their right to vote.
From Florida to New York, we tracked down experts and political scientists who provided insight and analysis on the history of Florida’s civil rights restoration process and Florida's proposed amendment 4. We sat down with a handful of current, former and prospective Florida governors to gauge their understanding of the issue, as well as the people directly affected by this issue: Florida felons.
In addition to our conversations with experts, politicians, community members and felons, we dug through decades of data and watched more than 100 hours of clemency hearings to uncover the consequences of Florida’s voting rights policy over the years.
Some of the team's major findings:
- Gov. Rick Scott's administration denied 61.3% of civil rights restoration cases on the spot
- Gov. Rick Scott restored significantly less voting rights to felons than any other governor in the last two decades. He granted on average 384 restorations/year, while other governors restored rights to 1,270 to 38,558 felons per year on average.
-African Americans were disproportionately disenfranchised. We found 17.6% of voting age African-Americans in Florida were disenfranchised from felony convictions compared to 8.5% of other voting age Floridians.
You can watch the documentary below or read the full investigation here.