It is a generally accepted idea that once a criminal has completed their sentence he or she returns to society with full voting rights. Many states do this automatically. But not Florida. And now its process has been condemned by a federal judge.
Why, here's how the process works.
In Florida, a clemency board including the governor ultimately decides whether to restore voting rights to people with felony records. To get there, applicants must wait five to seven years after completing all terms of their sentences before applying for rights restoration. Then it takes another nine years on average for their petitions to be heard, according to the state office that oversees the process.
And Florida, controlled by Republicans wants to keep it that way. Why? Because some felons are African Americans and Republicans don't really consider them real Americans and besides they tend to vote for Democrats. And the process is corrupt.
The judge referenced one case where a man told Mr. Scott during a 2013 clemency board meeting that he had voted illegally for the governor. Mr. Scott restored the man’s rights. Meantime, plaintiffs identified five other cases where the clemency board denied voting rights to people questioned about illegal ballots.We will see how this plays, and if it goes to an appeals court with Donnie appointees the prospects for ending Florida's anti-American program will not be good. But this is just another episode showing how conservatives hate the concept of democracy.