Initiative to Restore Certain Felons Voting Rights in Florida has Massive Support


The latest bipartisan poll conducted jointly by North Star Opinion Research and EMC Research shows that 74 percent of Florida voters support Amendment 4—the Voting Restoration Amendment—on the ballot this November.

This result matches the overall support found in a similar poll conducted by the same firms in April, which also found 74 percent overall support for Amendment 4, and comes a week after a University of North Florida poll found 71 percent support statewide.

“The amendment maintains the strong across-the-aisle support needed to pass with 60 percent of the vote required in the state,” said Dan Judy of North Star Opinion Research, the pollster for Senator Marco Rubio.

The poll found that all subgroups of Floridians – regardless of geographic region, age, creed, or gender – support Amendment 4. According to the survey, six in ten registered Republicans support the amendment (59% support), nearly eight in ten Independents vote yes (79%), and registered Democrats strongly support the amendment (88% support).

“Amendment 4 also receives support across various iterations of demographic subgroups. Over 60% of voters across the state, from the Panhandle to Miami, say they will vote Yes,” said Dave Beattie of EMC Research.

Nearly three-quarters of white voters (74%) support the measure, just over six in ten Hispanic voters (62%) support the measure and over nine in ten African-American voters (92%) support the measure.

“Our recent survey shows that support for Amendment 4 has stayed strong and stable since our previous research in April,” stated campaign manager Jackie Lee. “On the eve of ballots being sent out to Floridians across the Sunshine State, these results show what we’ve seen throughout this grassroots effort: Floridians are excited to go to the polls and cast a vote for second chances.”

Amendment 4 gives Floridians who have made past mistakes the eligibility to vote after they have paid their debt in full. An amendment to Florida’s constitution requires 60 percent of the vote to become law.

EMC Research and North Star Opinion Research conducted a live telephone survey of 1,000 likely November 2018 general election voters in the state of Florida from September 17 – 23, 2018. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish, and both landlines and mobile phones were included. The margin of error for overall results is ±3.1 percentage points.

To view the polling memo, click HERE.

Florida is one of only four states with a lifetime ban on voting. Amendment 4 would restore the eligibility to vote to Floridians who have served their time and completed all terms of their sentence as ordered by a judge – including parole, probation, and restitution. The amendment specifically excludes individuals who have committed murder or a felony sexual offense.  So often, criminals never finish all of these or they do so with half measures.  This program maximizes the incentive to not only be reformed criminals, but also, outstanding citizens.

This initiative makes sense on several levels.  It restores fiscal sanity to a restitution system that often leads to people not receiving the monies they deserve after crime.  It also gives a huge incentive to criminals to  actually reform.

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