The Field: Florida’s Ex-Felons and their Fight to Vote in the 2020 Election

A 2018 ballot initiative in the swing state was supposed to extend the franchise to 1.5 million former felons. A Republican policy and a lack of information threaten to keep these voters from the polls.

The New York Times, October 2, 2020

During much of this election cycle, Julius Irving of Gainesville, Fla., spent his days trying to get former felons registered to vote.

He would tell them about Florida’s Amendment 4, a ballot initiative that extended the franchise to those who had, in the past, been convicted on felony charges — it added an estimated 1.5 million people to the electorate, the nation’s largest voting expansion in four decades.

If Democrats were to activate a fraction of this portion of the swing state’s electorate, it could be decisive in the outcome of the election.

Mr. Irving had himself spent time in prison, an experience that left him with a distrust of the system but also a desire to encourage people like him to engage with it.

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