Florida’s campaign to restore voting rights to felons is gathering national media attention, and national financing. Now activists are trying to focus that energy to get the proposed constitutional amendment on the 2018 ballot. WFSU reports on the grassroots campaign to gather 1 million signatures before the end of the year. … Under Florida law, felons are permanently barred from voting, holding office, and owning firearms, unless they get permission from the governor and his cabinet. They make up the state’s Executive Clemency Board. Governor Rick Scott addressed a clemency hearing earlier this summer. “Here’s the advice I give you: if anybody says you have a right to something, you actually don’t,” Scott said.
Previous administrations streamlined the voting restoration process. Scott ended the practice when he took office and added mandatory waiting periods.
“There’s no right to clemency,” Scott said. “This is purely a board of mercy.”
After felons pay their debt to society, including time served, parole, probation, and fines, they wait for a minimum of five to seven years to come to this room. Their requests are up to the discretion of the Cabinet.