The Reverend Al Sharpton and other local and national church and civic leaders are expected to rally in Tallahassee Thursday, calling for the restoration of voting rights for ex-felons. The issue of felons’ rights has long been controversial but in recent weeks a judge struck down the state’s current system of restoring voting rights to felons and ordered a new system to be instituted by April 26. Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet had a month to revamp the rules, but it was only last night that he called on the Cabinet to have an emergency meeting to address the issue after failed attempts to challenge the ruling in court.
Lakey Love, spokesperson with the Campaign for Prison Reform, is advocating for the complete restoration of rights to former felons. She takes offense that the governor and Cabinet waited until the last minute to address the issue.
“It is a strategic attack on the community that’s directly impacted,” says Love, “so not just people who are formerly incarcerated but their mothers and sisters and wives and daughters and husbands and brothers and uncles and aunts.”