Here is a great bit with an update on felon voting from a recent editorial from Florida’s Tampa Bay Times:
Over the next month, it will become clearer whether the most viable path to reform is through a yearslong voter petition drive for a constitutional amendment, the Constitution Revision Commission or the Florida Legislature…
…Other proposed amendments will start being considered as early as this week by the Constitution Revision Commission, a powerful panel that meets once every 20 years to propose constitutional amendments that go directly to the ballot. Two proposals would amend the Constitution to automatically restore voting rights upon completion of a sentence, with no caveats except to exclude those convicted of murder or sexual assault. A third proposal by Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, would provide for automatic restoration of voting rights but would expand the number of exclusions to include people convicted of other violent crimes such as robbery and kidnapping.
Florida strips felons of their right to vote at a higher rate than any other state, barring more than 10 percent of its overall adult population — including 21.5 percent of African-Americans — from the polls, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Sentencing Project.
According to numerous historians, voting rights advocates and law groups, that racial disparity is no coincidence. One report, released by New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice, details how Florida’s felon voting rights laws, which disenfranchise 1.7 million felons, are a vestige of the Jim Crow era.
The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a “nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice”. That landmark 2016 report was titled, “Florida: An Outlier in Denying Voting Rights.” It was written by Erika L. Wood, a Professor of Law at New York Law School and Director of the Voting Rights and Civic Participation Project of the Impact Center for Public Interest Law. It explained in stark terms:
Florida denies the right to vote to more of its residents than any state, and to the largest percentage of its voting-age citizens than any state. Nearly one-third of those who have lost the right to vote for life in Florida are black, although African Americans make up just 16 percent of the state’s population. Florida’s law disenfranchises 21 percent of its total African-American voting-age population. The breadth and depth of Florida’s disenfranchisement of its residents represent a radical departure from the norm in the United States, which is itself an outlier internationally.