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Why Florida's Ex-Felons Should Be Able to Vote | NYT - Opinion

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From our opinion team: A November ballot measure in Florida could restore voting rights to ex-felons and forever change national politics. Subscribe: http://bit.ly/U8Ys7n More from The New York Times Video: http://nytimes.com/video ---------- Whether it's reporting on conflicts abroad and political divisions at home, or covering the latest style trends and scientific developments, New York Times video journalists provide a revealing and unforgettable view of the world. It's all the news that's fit to watch.
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Text Comments (144)
First Son of Man (16 hours ago)
I think if you comit 3 felonies, you should be executed.
mister garcia (1 day ago)
Sure why not. They paid their debt to society. Give them back their 2nd Amendment Rights back too.
billybbob18 (28 days ago)
I agree that an EX felon is just that. However, do you expect someone who was morally bankrupt enough to commit a felony to make a decent political decision? If I were to guess, I'd say that the vast majority of felons would vote left wing without thinking about it much. I'd also venture to guess that 90 percent of kids under 18 would also vote far left wing which is why dems want them so badly. Even at 18, you have zero idea what's going on in the world. I think 25 is a good starting age to vote, but 21 seems to be the age that all states judge someone to be a competent alcohol user.
Jax (3 months ago)
My idea is if you are supposed to go to prison for something how about we just have you servr your country in the military it's a good way to make amends and not burden your fellow tax paying countrymen. After serving AA certain amount years you have the right to vote. What say you?
LUCY LOVE (3 months ago)
Joe Dirt (3 months ago)
Well looks like the Democrats are pulling out everything they can do. Letting illegal Mexicans, criminals,thugs , Hooligans Misfits they're doing anything to f*** this country up.
Silent Witness (3 months ago)
If voting made any real difference in the world, no one would be allowed to vote to begin with. The video said that there is an estimated over 1.000.000 people in Florida that cannot vote due to felonies, though the exact number is unknown. That is a lot of supposed criminals in the state of Florida. I wouldn't be surprised if everyone living in the state is a criminal in some way, form, and/or fashion yet hasn't been caught yet. If anything, those without blemishes on their records I trust less than those with blemishes. Funny how most people in the world at large have some sort of past history and record on them, and yet not very many people in the world actually don't, yet they all still try to use the past against one another anyway as some sort of leverage and hinderance. Those who say they are not criminals and don't break the law are not perfect beings in this world. They can end up in the very same situations as those they are looking down on. It just takes the right circumstances and buttons to push to get them there. Then you'll see them in the same boats as everyone else around them. If anything, real human beings have past experiences in such matters. Those who have spotless records are those who never really learn or experience anything true and real in life. You never learn anything at all in life until you've walked in the shoes of those lessons you learn. Why do people commit the crimes they commit? A clean record person will never know those answers until they find themselves in the same circumstances and predicaments as those who've already gone through them and know the answers. Clean record people have never truly hit rock bottom in life. Have never been pushed to their moral limits. Have never been truly tested or tempted to go against their own natures and characters. Have never lost it all before in their lives. Have never truly experienced hardship and struggle when they no longer have it all in their own lives. I believe clean record people are not truly human beings. They are fakes trying to be something they are not. The majority of the people in this world in general have a history and felony background of some sorts one way or another breaking this law or that law whether they know it or not and have been caught for it or not. There is no such thing as a clean record perfect human being. I despise those who say they are.
21TRILLION TRILLION (3 months ago)
Lack of integrity is not the same as having integrity. Will just call B.S. on the rest of the ramblings .
Miles North (3 months ago)
Now 1.4 million can work to pass legislation that outlaws sentencing and even decriminalizes crime. Cool!
Heaven Leigh (4 months ago)
I love that Republicans are exposing themselves. They say that they are the party of Christianity when the biggest theme of the Bible is forgiveness of past transgressions. So Jesus can forgive someone but Republicans can't? Hypocrites you all are.
Yuval Gino (5 months ago)
And the parkland shooter gets to vote from jail
David Roller (5 months ago)
Consider that felons who can vote will now be required, as ALL other voters, to sit in a jury box and decide the guilt of others! This may actually be the answer to prison over-crowding!!! Lol
deharleyva (5 months ago)
Now they have it.
Ken Abbott (5 months ago)
Because criminals are a strong Democrat constituency and they need them votes.
Envy Noson (6 months ago)
I would agree to this if the exception to the rules are ex felons that were pedophiles, sold drugs, assaulted somebody, murder somebody. Yeah they're people, but people that had ruined the lives of others. They should remember that.
R023 (6 months ago)
That seems so wrong, in Australia felons currently serving a 3 year sentence or less have the right to vote. To bar people goes against democracy.
Mic Kennedy (6 months ago)
they should of thought about that before they broke the law.
Kevin Cruz (6 months ago)
0:39 No sentence ends well with "but you live in Florida
Ronnie Wells (6 months ago)
Not allowing ex-cons to vote is a direct indictment on our prison system. If they don't feel they've learned their lesson and shouldn't have their rights restored then they are saying the prison system doesn't work. Once you serve your time you are no longer a convict and should not be treated as one.
Jeremy Davis (5 months ago)
+Mic Kennedy 75 percent return because felony laws don't let them get homes or decent jobs. The very thing you are advocating for is responsible for the very thing you are using for its argument
Ronnie Wells (6 months ago)
+Mic Kennedy The recidivism rate is irrelevant. Your logic makes no sense. Breaking the law and being incarcerated strips your rights. If you are no longer incarcerated and have paid your dues you are a citizen again. If you want to make the case that someone on parole shouldn't be able to vote I could even understand that somewhat but if someone has paid their debt there is no reason to deny them their rights aside from voter suppression. If you are partaking in society and not under correctional supervision you should have a say in how the country is run. How could you argue otherwise?
Mic Kennedy (6 months ago)
@Ronnie, But 75% will be back in prison which shows they didn't learn their lesson. They still have a criminal mind. I'd be inclined to vote "yes" to allow them to vote 15 years after their release.... Assuming they have no run-ins with the law (minus minor traffic violations). This will show that they truly learned their lesson.
Ronnie Wells (6 months ago)
+Mic Kennedy Because they have served their time for the crime they committed and paid their due. Why shouldn't they be able to vote? They are no longer being punished. The punishment was served.
Mic Kennedy (6 months ago)
After being released from prison, 75% of felons return due to a new crime within 5 years. With that said, only 25% learn their lesson. Why would I want to allow felons to vote upon their release?
sunnylilme (6 months ago)
C'mon.. murderers, child molesters excluded, and its STILL EVEN AN ISSUE?
AMJR Live from Somewhere (6 months ago)
These are good people. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, are the exception.
What day in November can we vote again?
Chosen One (6 months ago)
I think you have more important things than vote the last election there was 36% turn out which means 64% of elgible voters didnt care enough to vote. Worry about the bills and hurricanes!
mambowman (6 months ago)
this is just another stark example of americans actual disdain for democracy
John Smith (6 months ago)
It is absolutely insane to ever allow the government to strip someone of their ability to vote out that government.
Mic Kennedy (6 months ago)
the felon choose to have their voting right striped.
King Naga (6 months ago)
because it's honestly the majority of Florida.
vishal .p (6 months ago)
Great .. people do vote "YES" for these people...
Tom Doody (6 months ago)
no brainer Florida grazie NYTimes
Arie Fraiser (6 months ago)
It seems like every unjust law in the south can be traced to past racist laws.
Joseph Stembler (6 months ago)
I voted yes on Amendment 4.
Brandon Stah (6 months ago)
As a Floridian I’m more concerned with 1/10 our felons? Oh boy. On the topic of the video I think it’s the way it should be. Maybe some cases it’s heartbreaking but regardless of age you know the law. Dude robbed a subway?! Never did I think that was ok. Wtf is wrong with you guys? In this guys life he thought it was ok to rob a store. He’s humble and thinking clear now but power can change a few to worse
J Globetrotter (5 months ago)
Brandon Stah in Florida, theft of property worth $300 or more is a felony. Literally a teenager caught shoplifting, pickpocketing, or stealing something like a phone is considered a felon by those standards.
Giulia Pugliese (6 months ago)
They won't let them vote; not now and not ever because if they did, Florida would most certainly not be a swing state.
Jeremy Davis (5 months ago)
spongebob-roundpants (6 months ago)
Women don't deserve suffrage
MrRookie1981 (6 months ago)
And it seems you don't deserve women ^^
DoubleGoon (6 months ago)
This is a Jim Crow era law. We all understand why it was created. In an era where anything and everything could (and would) get a black man hung up in a tree castrated and then set on fire; you better believe they were sending black Americans to jail on trumped up felonies.
DoubleGoon (3 months ago)
C. Lincoln “List of wrongful convictions in the United States”: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wrongful_convictions_in_the_United_States
C. Lincoln (6 months ago)
Sure buddy... dindu nuffin.
Roland Murdoc (6 months ago)
I am profoundly gratefull about this.
David Samuel Blain (6 months ago)
A bunch of Floridian corporate policy idiots screwballed up about the law against Illegal 🐊 vs. 🐍 fighting challenge gambling with 💰 is felony at the Sunshine State the don't 🗳 for stop the reptilian animal fighting 💸 gambling, if you asked me truly personally.
Lady Oblivion (6 months ago)
Let’s not pretend that all felons are good people, but they absolutely should get to vote
21TRILLION TRILLION (3 months ago)
+DoubleGoon It is never a waste of time to try to reach consensus . Even though you were unable , others were successful . I personally find violent criminal activity repulsive , including violence against ones economic well-being . The very best in your social endeavors.
DoubleGoon (3 months ago)
21TRILLION TRILLION You ramble on and on and on. All I’ve heard from you so far is insults, dodges, digressions, and fragmented ideas. I cannot continue to waste my time on you.
21TRILLION TRILLION (3 months ago)
+DoubleGoon It is a concept , it requires some thought to understand. It does not infer that there is intellectual equality. Think of it as value, will your value be more to mankind than a cave dweller many thousands of years ago .
DoubleGoon (3 months ago)
21TRILLION TRILLION I’m white and no not all men are created equal. Knowing our nations history and understanding how we ended up in the present is never idiocy. Just the opposite actually.
21TRILLION TRILLION (3 months ago)
+DoubleGoon Good men have been making poor choices for decades. Baaaaaaad white people ? All men are created equal , to reach back in time to find your abuser is idiocy.
V uk (6 months ago)
I would vote Yes if I could but I live in Serbia
Strange Hardware (6 months ago)
"Murderers and sex offenders are excluded" If this is the case then sure, why not? If they decide to start giving uncle pedo and aunt stabby their rights back then no, no thanks.
S Ali (6 months ago)
Love this
2bRealist (6 months ago)
If you are an *EX* -felon, which means your dept to society has been paid in full, then you should have *ALL YOUR RIGHTS BACK!!* If you can not trust a person in public, driving, voting, and owning a gun.... then you shouldn't have let them out of prison O_o *AMERICAN LIBERTY IS FOR ALL LAW-BIDING TAX-PAYING AMERICANS* even if they were not always as such ;-)
mister garcia (1 day ago)
You're absolutely right. They paid their debt to society. Give them back their 2nd Amendment Rights back too.
Lester Diaz (6 months ago)
The only people who deny others of their vote is because they’re afraid of losing power. I’m in Florida and will be voting to restore the vote to ex-felons
Tiffany Elliott (2 months ago)
+MrRookie1981 and we can't leave either. Not the country anyway because those rights were also ripped from us. I got my felony at 19 years old for my boyfriend's drugs despite not knowing anything about them and him telling the police they were not mine. I'm now 28 & married, with children,& a wonderful church family & wonderful husband ....but my voice was stripped from me. Despite that I am in fact a law abiding citizen who made the choice to plead guilty to something I didn't do because I didn't know I had another choice as my state appointed lawyer encouraged me to take the sentence which also included 2 years in jail and a court program that was 24 months long and consisted of me paying $ & submitting to take "random" drug screens up to 5 days a week. Now as a Christian woman I can't even visit my dream worship place in ISRAEL it's nuts. And Its this way until I die of old age? I'm not one in a few there are thousands even millions of people who never actually committed a crime but I live in the commonwealth it's truly guily until proven innocent and they like to scare young kids into stuff so they now have authority over them for Life. I'm subject to search at anytime and if my yard so much as gets dirty they can put me back in prison per the probation and parole handbook.
MrRookie1981 (3 months ago)
+Jax I say, it would be kind of okay, as long as "serving" in that case does not mean being used as canon fodder for suicide missions as it was done in the French Foreign Legion. I dont know however what the army corps will think of the idea of having criminals being equipped with guns and shipped into the Near and Middle East. Regardless the punishment though, after time is served, there is no reason not to handle them back their civil rights.
Jax (3 months ago)
+21TRILLION TRILLION My idea is if you are supposed to go to prison for something how about we just have you servr your country in the military it's a good way to make amends and not burden your fellow tax paying countrymen. After serving AA certain amount years you have the right to vote. What say you?
Jax (3 months ago)
+J Globetrotter My idea is if you are supposed to go to prison for something how about we just have you servr your country in the military it's a good way to make amends and not burden your fellow tax paying countrymen. After serving AA certain amount years you have the right to vote. What say you?
Maria WO (6 months ago)
If you aren't allowed to vote, you are not really part of the democracy or the country. -And it is insane that this vote needs 60% to pass, when a supreme justis is passed at only 50% of the senate, voted to power by only 20% of the population!!!
Renoa Mahmud (3 months ago)
not the senate
Renoa Mahmud (3 months ago)
supreme court people are chosen by president
Milhouse (6 months ago)
You pay taxes, you get to vote.
Oluwatooni ogedengbe (5 months ago)
+Mic Kennedy in Prison.
Mic Kennedy (6 months ago)
you broke the law, you choose to give up your ability to vote.
Audrey Dickson (6 months ago)
It seems a lot of people are watching this video in reverse... they’re just not getting it
Big A (6 months ago)
This is just another example how Republicans are the smaller party and shrinking, yet use voter suppression and gerrymandering to hold on to power, times up my GOP friends, Governor Gillum is about to be elected here, I have 17 friends and family voting for Gillum and 9 of them formerly voted for Trump. Desantis is an embarrassment and is only running on how much he loves Trump and will do whatever he wants, guess he forgot he is supposed to represent us, not Trump. Also, the deregulation and repeal of environmental protection laws has led to algae blooms across the entire state ruining most of the lakes and beaches, you need regulations because you can’t expect corporations to put public’s safety ahead of profits.
21TRILLION TRILLION (3 months ago)
Socialist burn every government /nation they get control . You would be much better off with a conservative thief/liar than a deranged Socialist . No joke , google Socialist countries that have failed .
MrRookie1981 (6 months ago)
It seems that while 1 bad deed is enough to comdemn you for life, dozens and hundreds of good deeds are not enough to rehabilitate you in the sunshine state. You dont need jails in a justice system where people are being treated as criminals even after they have done their time. Just save money and treat them as criminals for the rest of their lives. OR put them in jails and embrace them into the society afterwards again as citizens. Under normal circumstances a Supreme Court should have to overrule that specific state law without hesitation. But don't get your hopes up for the next 30 years...
Tony Su (6 months ago)
Maybe don't commit a crime? Is that too much to ask?
CCH DZ (5 months ago)
Context matters. A lot of these people are from poor neighborhoods, where they dont get proper education, be it moral or intelectual.
Mic Kennedy (6 months ago)
let them vote after staying clear for 15 years after getting out of prison.
Ronnie Wells (6 months ago)
If they have served their time then why shouldn't they have their rights restored?
Eidelmania (6 months ago)
Blacks are over policed. They go to jail for things like smoking weed and Jay walking 10x as much as Whites, even though Whites use the majority of drugs... GH Bush was a coke fiend for much of his life, not only was he never barred from voting, SC anointed him POTUS.
DoubleGoon (6 months ago)
Is giving people a chance to much to ask? They did their time, let them vote.
Ex-felons, sure. You've made mistakes and you decided to make a change, you deserve to vote once again. To CURRENT felons, they have zero right to vote nor do they get to complain.
Mic Kennedy (6 months ago)
I'd be inclined to vote "yes" to allow them to vote 15 years after their release.... Assuming they have no run-ins with the law (minus minor traffic violations). This will show that they truly learned their lesson.
Envy Noson (6 months ago)
Can someone explain to me the difference between a felon and an ex-felon?
Bradley Summers (6 months ago)
Uh, yeah. That's what this measure is about. Allowing EX-felons who have served their time and paid their dues to vote.
MrRookie1981 (6 months ago)
I agree. We are talking about ex-felons only here.
MSNPC (6 months ago)
don't commit stupid crimes then you can vote...
MSNPC (6 months ago)
+MrRookie1981 Armed robbery is a premeditated choice to unfairly take what does not belong to you through fear, terror, injury or worse; fatality
MSNPC (6 months ago)
+MrRookie1981 if your brother, son or father was convicted on the flimsy allegations of Dr Fraud I bet you will be say *"I believe all women?"* 😕
bob (6 months ago)
Armed robbery is not a mistake that's actually serious.
Supreme Reader (6 months ago)
Oh yeah, these are exactly the kind of people we want to run our country.
MrRookie1981 (6 months ago)
Exactly. Tax fraud IS robbery. It might not be armed, but it is robbing EVERYONE else who pays his taxes. So the scales are much higher. Stop viewing tax robbery as a trivial offense. It diminuishes education, healthcare, infrastructure and government for EVERYONE. And if done by the super rich it is even much, much worse than if its done by your neighbour who struggles for survival. And while the poor strugglers are not allowed to even vote years after, the rich primate is running the country and his business simultaneously (without even showing his tax records ^^)
DoubleGoon (6 months ago)
Why do you think not paying all your taxes isn’t a big deal? It does more harm to the country than an armed robbery.
Supreme Reader (6 months ago)
MrRookie1981 oh sure, supposedly Trump might not have paid his all the taxes he owes and The NY Times considers that a big deal, but armed robbery. Hey, boys will be boys, right.
MrRookie1981 (6 months ago)
You already HAVE criminals running your country. And they did not even serve jail time...
JogBird (6 months ago)
if you are a real american and pay taxes you should have a right to vote
Julio Tomas (5 months ago)
for real I'm ex convicted I done my time i should have the right to vote they afraid cause they going loose the power
Quell Ious (6 months ago)
@Jag That is demonstrably false. Even if they get their tax money back at the end of the year, they are giving the government an interest free loan from their wages. If they were getting back their money WITH interest back, then you might have a point. Also, the money that does go back in form of welfare? It comes from Democrat run states like California and New York. Red states are welfare queens who don't contribute to the overall income of the country, tax wise.
Milhouse (6 months ago)
jag10 So Democrats don't pay the sales tax when they buy stuff? Lmao
William Condon (6 months ago)
jag10 if that lie helps your self esteem then you must not have much of it
Not if you commit felonies
M. How (6 months ago)
Get this video to EVERY TRUMP SUPPORTER in FLORIDA. Help to make a Red Tsunami.
Quell Ious (6 months ago)
More like a stinking, receding red tide.
Eidelmania (6 months ago)
God, Isnt a red tide bad enough? You wont be satisfied until the entire planet is dead. Dont worry, w/ Trump's policies, it's coming very soon.
Glassboulders (6 months ago)
How would that help these people when they’d most likely agree with Rick Scott? 🤷‍♂️
zEropoint68 (6 months ago)
the problem with trying to make red-themed catchphrases to match "blue wave" is that they all sound like euphemisms for menstruation.
Regan Pelletier (6 months ago)
They’ve paid their debt to society let them vote let their thoughts and opinions be heard
BlitzkriegRap (6 months ago)
Serving a jail sentence is not "paying your debt". A jail sentence exists only to be an example for other people not to do the crime. In fact, if we talking money - regular citizens are paying their debt. I just wanted to clear that out, without getting into should ex felons vote or not.
Pepins Spot (6 months ago)
This is so f*cked up in so many levels. In Puerto Rico inmates have the right to vote.
sunnylilme (6 months ago)
+Pepins Spot Sorry about the douches..WE love puerto ricCans
Pepins Spot (6 months ago)
I live here, I know what we are.
Pepins Spot (6 months ago)
We let people vote in our elections.
hand over (6 months ago)
That's why puerto rico is a third world shithole.
Ghassen Barreh (6 months ago)
@jag10 You do realize Puerto rico is us territory? Also @Pepins Spot what are u blathering about maaan! Puerto Rico doesn’t have senators, the right to vote for a President..
Abigail Nicole (6 months ago)
Hola SUBSCRIBE ANDO ME RN 1...2....3.... GOOOO

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