Florida lawmakers might not be ready to put Amendment 4 — a measure approved by 64.5% of Florida voters that would give voting rights back to most felons who have completed their sentences — into action. According to WFTV 9, a local news station in Florida, the state has put enforcement of the amendment on pause until the new governor, Republican Ron DeSantis, is sworn in. WFTV reported that lawmakers are waiting to see if the Florida Legislature might need to weigh in on the measure. The amendment, which would restore voting rights to more than 1.5 million felons, does not call for any involvement of this kind. In Florida, 23% of African-American adults cannot vote due to a previous felony conviction. Amendment 4, the measure that would change that, received wide support among residents in a state with strict clemency laws. It was scheduled to take effect on January 8.
Now, Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles told WFTV that “it could be that the new governor and secretary of state have a new direction” regarding the establishment of the measure.
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“So, it’s just going to be a wait and see,” Cowles said, adding that state lawmakers have put a pause on checking any packets of information about the measure since December 1.