The fate of about 1.4 million people will be at stake in November as Florida voters decide whether most convicted felons should have the right to vote. With the election less than four months away, supporters are organizing a statewide campaign to win voter approval of Amendment 4, which got on the ballot after an effective grass-roots organizing effort that lasted for several years. But passage is far from assured in a deep purple and closely-divided state where midterm or non-presidential elections typically draw low turnouts, where President Donald J. Trump remains popular, and where some voters may simply be turned off by a fatigue-inducing list of 13 ballot questions.
“Grass roots got us this far, and grass roots will get us across the finish line,” said Desmond Meade, the public face of a campaign known as Second Chances, himself a former addict and convicted felon who holds a law degree but cannot vote. “People going around and having conversations with their friends. That has been the secret to our success.”
Any voter-approved change to Florida’s Constitution needs to win support of 60 percent of voters.