IN THE NEWS
IN THE NEWS
FRRC is making a difference! Check out these news articles.
FRRC is making a difference! Check out these news articles.
October 27, 2020 – In 2000, with all eyes on Florida, a young lawyer named Amy Coney Barrett helped swing the controversial Bush v. Gore decision, securing a Republican presidency. In 2020, the courts could again be decisive in swing states. Voting rights activist Desmond Meade is working to get court costs paid and ex-felons registered to vote.
October 27, 2020 – The sticker on Yraida Guanipa’s sweater exclaimed “I VOTED!”, a badge of honor for her and many other ex-convicts in Florida who have won back their right to cast a ballot for America’s next president.
October 26, 2020 – Tens of thousands of felon voters will cast their votes in this election, but getting to the ballot box hasn’t been easy for many of them who owe fines and fees.
October 26, 2020 – On Oct. 24, a “Free the Vote” rally was held at the New Smyrna Beach Regional Library at 1001 S. Dixie Highway. The event consisted of free food, music, prizes, and voting at the library, which is an early voting polling site.
October 26, 2020 – The recent Federal Appeals Court decision on Amendment 4 reinstating the payment of court fees and costs in order to have one’s voting privileges restored has many people wondering, “What is Next”?
October 26, 2020 – Across Tallahassee, efforts to Get Out the Vote are ramping up, especially on Tallahassee’s Southside. In celebration of National Early Voter Day and Black Voter Day, hundreds showed out to cast their ballots.
October 26, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition hosts Free the Vote march. A march to the polls consisting of community members, convicted felons, and returning citizens, who cast their ballots for the first time since the passing of Amendment 4.
October 25, 2020 – Ladron Porter couldn’t wait until Election Day. “I’m a returning citizen,” Porter told News Channel 8’s Justin Schecker. “I just did five years incarcerated.” On National Early Voting Day, the 32-year-old voted for the first time at the C. Blythe Andrews Library in Tampa.
October 25, 2020 – The Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Desmond Meade, cast a ballot at an early voting site at the Amway Center in Orlando Saturday.
October 24, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition rallied in Tallahassee and Quincy today to encourage felons to vote. Outside the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition members set up big white tents, unfolded tables, and got a generator running. They’re preparing for a rally.
October 24, 2020 – Hundreds gathered today at the “Free to Vote” Rally and March to the Polls event organized by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. The organizers hoped to encourage members of Alachua County, especially those who have been incarcerated, to get out and vote.
October 24, 2020 – Tony Brown saw his 53-year-old friend be able to vote for the first time. Elizabeth Jackson helped a mother of six get to the polls Saturday.
October 24, 2020 – For the first time in history, Floridians with past felony convictions are voting in a general election. People with past convictions, also known as returning citizens made sure the world knew they would speak up.
October 22, 2020 – Let me start out by stating I am neither a Republican or Democrat. I am an independent voter. However, I am very concerned about the efforts of the Republican Party to suppress the constitutional right of American citizens to vote. As an example lets look at our home state of Florida.
Voter suppression was spark that ignited Ocoee Massacre. A century later, Florida’s Black voters are still facing obstacles
October 22, 2020 – On Nov. 2, 1920, July Perry was lynched by a mob during the Ocoee Massacre, the worst election day violence in U.S. history. The trouble began when a Black man named Moses Norman was denied his right to vote, being told that he could not vote because he had not paid his poll tax.
October 21, 2020 – A local organization is going on a bus tour across Florida to urge people to vote in the upcoming election. The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, a grassroots organization, arrived in Fort Pierce on Wednesday as part of the Free the Vote bus tour.
October 21, 2020 – Florida’s top election official is facing accusations of voter suppression after two last-minute moves critics say will lead to intimidation and confusion.
October 21, 2020 – Amendment 4, which passed in Florida in 2018, restored voting rights for people with past felony convictions after they have completed their sentences including parole or probation.
October 20, 2020 – More than 67,000 people with felony convictions have registered to vote since Florida ended its lifetime ban on felon disenfranchisement, according to the Florida Rights Re…To continue reading, subscribe to The Tampa Bay Times.
'Exciting and Historical Moment': Their Rights Restored, 67,000+ Former Felons Set to Vote in Florida Amid Record Early Turnout
October 20, 2020 – There are thousands upon thousands of energized and inspired returning citizens throughout the state that will not be denied, that will be a voice, and will have an impact in determining who wins Florida.
October 19, 2020 – Lining up along Mcgregor and Martin Luther King Boulevard in Fort Myers, people from all walks of life came together fighting for what they believe is right.
October 19, 2020 – Early voting started in Florida on Monday as this presidential election is the first since Florida voters passed Amendment Four in 2018.
October 19, 2020 – Thousands of felons are casting their ballot this election for the first time since being incarcerated or charged, but the state isn’t making it easy.
October 19, 2020 – A group that pushed to restore voting rights to Florida felons said Monday that slightly more than 67,000 people registered to vote after passage of its citizen initiative.
October 17, 2020 – Mass incarceration has fueled Black voter disenfranchisement for decades in the U.S. More than 5 million Americans are unable to vote because of a felony record, and they are disproportionately Black.
October 17, 2020 – Pam Armstrong Escarcega, with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, speaks to the crowd at the “March for Justice” rally on the downtown square in Ocala, Florida, Saturday, October 17, 2020.
October 16, 2020 – Ariel White is the Silverman (1968) Family Career Development Associate Professor of Political Science at MIT, where she researches voting and voting rights, race, the criminal legal system, and bureaucratic behavior.
October 15, 2020 – Florida will seek to push former felons from voter rolls if they have outstanding court debts, a surprise, late-hour move that comes after more than 2 million people already have voted in the presidential battleground.
October 15, 2020 – In 1776, 56 men signed a document stating that “All men are created equal,” but in reality, they have not always been treated as such when it comes to voting. In terms of voting, being able to express your opinion at the ballot box has not always been a right, but rather a privilege.
October 14, 2020 – More than 5 million Americans won’t be allowed to vote in the 2020 election, one of the most consequential in recent history, because of a felony conviction, according to a new study released Wednesday.
October 14, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration is rolling through Big Bend counties helping ex-convicts prepare for voting. The bus tour brought education rights into Tallahassee and Gadsden County, from letting people know how they can vote to and helping them pay off their fines and fees.
October 14, 2020 – Voters will be marching to the polls in Fort Myers, and many of them will be casting their ballots for the first time. A non-profit that advocates for people with past felony convictions is hosting a “Free The Vote” rally in 10 days.
October 14, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is swinging through North Florida this week on a statewide bus tour. The group is running a high-profile fundraising effort to pay fines and fees for felons, so they can again vote in elections.
October 12, 2020 – Two different paths led Ernest Johnson and Ronnie Reddish down the same road. Just a few weeks from Election Day, the two men met at a park in Tampa, Florida, to talk life, liberty and voting rights as a former felon.
October 11, 2020 – Florida was supposed to see hundreds of thousands of formerly banned voters at the polls this election. Two years ago, voters there approved restoring voting rights to people with past felony convictions, nearly a million and a half of them.
Steve Clifford Assists Let Your Voice Be Heard, Inc. and Other Organizations in Community Bookbag Distribution Event
October 10, 2020 – Increasing voter turnout and encouraging more community involvement has been a major focal point for the Orlando Magic during these tough, uncertain times.
October 8, 2020 – Tallahassee has been in hand-wringing harrumphing high dudgeon of late over the prospect that former convicted felons might possibly be able to cast a ballot in the November election.
October 8, 2020 – Sports and social activism have long gone hand-in-hand: Often in America’s history, the field or the court has been a more level playing field for Black Americans than in civil rights, housing, justice and government.
October 7, 2020 – Nearly two years after Florida voters approved a landmark constitutional amendment allowing felons to vote, state officials don’t know how many have registered.
Florida voting rights organization to hand out 1 million face masks ahead of general election to keep voters safe
October 7, 2020 -The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition plans to hand out 1 million masks at polling locations across the state before the November general election.
October 7, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) is a grassroots membership organization run by returning citizens who are dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions, and creating a more comprehensive and humane reentry system that will enhance successful reentry, reduce recidivism, and increase public safety.
October 7, 2020 – The Magic believe sports has the ability to bridge divides and bring people together and are committed to creating an inclusive environment in which fans, community partners and employees feel welcomed, valued and appreciated.
October 6, 2020 – Following a federal court ruling, a statewide nonprofit has received a surge in donations to help convicted felons have their voting rights restored in Florida.
October 6, 2020 – Redemption is a subject that Michael Vick is intimately aware of. Indeed, it is a concept that many of us feel is every person’s right. After all, salvation is a pillar of the western world’s concept of spirituality.
October 6, 2020 – Desmond Meade of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition joined us Tuesday on “TMZ Live,” and told us the $25 million his organization raised to allow former felons to vote in the election came from folks across the country … and before Bloomberg donated a dime.
October 6, 2020 – Davion and Maria have paid their debt to society by serving prison sentences in the US state of Florida, but they’re still paying back monetary debts from their cases – and until they do, they won’t be allowed to vote.
October 6, 2020 – For the last two years, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition embarked on a mission to help millions of felons in the state restore their right to vote.
October 6, 2020 – The Miami Heat, NBA and State Farm announced on Tuesday a $45,000 contribution to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition’s Current Fines & Fees Program.
October 6, 2020 – Gerald McDonald feels like he matters now, but it wasn’t always like that. “I just felt like I wasn’t a part of the community, ” explained McDonald.
October 6 – COVID-19 has changed everybody’s way of life, affecting jobs, homes and livelihoods. But now COVID-19 is threatening the heart of American society—free and fair elections. So, what are some ways to get involved with protecting democracy despite the dangers of the pandemic?
October 5, 2020 – As the deadline arrives to register to vote in Florida, an organization is working to help make sure more returning citizens get the chance to vote next month in the general election.
October 5, 2020 – Desmond Meade Talks Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Felon Eligibility + More
October 5, 2020 – In the 2018 election, Florida voters by almost a 30-point margin approved Amendment 4, which reinstated voting rights to an estimated 1.4 million Sunshine State residents who had past felony convictions.
October 5, 2020 -The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition political group paid just over $550,000 in fees, fines, and restitution to give Brevard County felons the right to vote in the 2020 Presidential General Election.
October 4, 2020 – With so much uncertainty surrounding what’s going to happen over the next few weeks, a lot of us are feeling pretty anxious about the upcoming elections.
October 4, 2020 – A group working to restore voting rights to former felons in the battleground state of Florida is racing to deliver money to court clerks to help pay off court fees and fines as a voter-registration deadline and Election Day itself fast approach.
October 4, 2020 – For Lucas Melton and his team of field organizers, their all-out campaign to register former felons to vote in Florida before the Monday deadline begins with informing them that they are eligible in the first place.
October 4, 2020 – Voters approved a change back in the 2018 election stating that former felons can now vote for president or in any other election. So this, for many, is the first time they can vote! However, they have to pay off all fines and fees first.
Vote or eat? Coalition supporting felons' voting rights gives $600,000 to help pay off fines, fees in Lee County
October 4, 2020 – The $25 million collected by a statewide organization to pay fines and fees for former felons will keep them from having to choose between food, rent or the ballot box, the leader of the effort said Sunday in Fort Myers
October 2, 2020 – The late John Lewis said, “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.”
October 1, 2020 – More than 30 community leaders packed inside a room at The Experience Christian Center Thursday morning to find solutions on how to stop the violence in Orange County.
September 30, 2020 – As the election nears in hotly contested Florida, restrictions affecting felon voting rights could block thousands from casting ballots, potentially altering the state’s outcome in the presidential race, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.
September 28, 2020 – The battle over felon voting rights in Florida is getting national attention. In 2018, voters passed Amendment 4 in a landslide. It restored voting rights to most felons who had served all terms of their sentence.
September 28, 2020 – Celebrities like Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Ariana Grande have donated to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition’s Fines and Fees Fund, according to Executive Director Desmond Meade.
September 28, 2020 – I have one small piece of advice to offer the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, to which Michael Bloomberg has promised to deliver $16 million for its fund to clear former felons’ monetary debts so they can vote: Cash the check before you spend the money.
September 27, 2020 – More than 20 years ago, Desmond Meade was convicted of drug dealing and spent three years in prison. For many people in his situation, that starts a cycle of prison, to the streets, and to prison again. Meade, though, beat the odds.
LeBron James Partners With The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition To Help Formerly Incarcerated People Vote
September 26, 2020 – Three-time NBA Champion LeBron James has reportedly partnered with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to help formerly incarcerated people vote.
September 25, 2020 – Time is running out to make sure everyone is registered to vote in the United States presidential election on Nov. 3. The stakes have heightened even further given the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which leaves five conservative-leaning judges and three liberal ones.
September 25, 2020 – I hold no punches when it comes to delivering a referendum on Michael Bloomberg’s failure to connect with the African American community.
September 25, 2020 – With Florida’s Oct. 5 voter-registration deadline looming, convicted felons and their advocates are scrambling to clear up outstanding court-related debts or take advantage of special programs so that people who have served their time behind bars can cast ballots in this year’s presidential election.
September 24, 2020 – With the 2020 presidential election quickly approaching, John Legend and Camila Cabello have teamed up for crowdfunding campaign Free the Vote, which aims to restore voting rights in Florida for the formerly convicted.
September 24, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition says it hasn’t even received a donation from Mike Bloomberg, but they are defending the expected $16 million donation to help pay fines and fees for convicted felons to register to vote as a proper and “righteous” effort.
September 24, 2020 – Desmond Meade graduated from law school, made it onto Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people and was at the forefront of a successful crusade to restore voting rights to convicted felons in Florida.
September 24, 2020 – After his bid for a pardon was blocked Wednesday, Florida felons’ voting-rights leader Desmond Meade said the decision made him even more committed to continuing his work.
September 24, 2020 – A rapidly growing movement is urgently scrambling to pay thousands of fines, restitution charges, and legal fees to allow returning citizens or ex-felons in Florida to register to vote and cast ballots in the 2020 elections.
September 24, 2020 – 700,000 citizens who completed prison time and parole in Florida may be ineligible to vote. With only a week until Florida’s bail payment deadline, the New York-based gallery Canada wants to help.
September 23, 2020 – Desmond Meade graduated from law school, made it onto Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people and was at the forefront of a successful crusade to restore voting rights to convicted felons in Florida.
September 22, 2020 – A group trying to help felons sign up to vote in Florida says it has raised more than $20 million to pay off outstanding court debts for thousands of former prisoners seeking to register in a battleground state crucial to President Donald Trump’s reelection.
September 21, 2020 – As the November election draws near and demonstrations for racial justice continue to unfold across the country, it is important to remember Black people in the United States are disenfranchised from voting because of previous criminal convictions at four times the rate of all other racial groups combined.
Getting Black communities to vote is personal for LeBron James, other NBA stars: 'We've seen our voices muted our whole lives'
September 20, 2020 – When he became eligible to vote, LeBron James did not consider it to be important. At 18 years old, James cared about other things.
September 19, 2020 – For Jason Morice, restoring his right to vote will be an important step in rebuilding his life as a convicted felon.
September 19, 2020 – An effort to pay court-ordered costs for felons who have served their time behind bars is getting a $250,000 boost from MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central, the cable networks announced on Friday.
September 19, 2020 – Now, MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central joined the efforts of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition by donating $250,000 to help their efforts to increase voter access by helping this community pay off fines and fees that keep them from voting.
September 19, 2020 – Today, September 19th, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) is hosting Voteteenth, a day of action and celebration to advance the modern day struggle for voting rights in America.
Michael Vick And Desmond Meade Wants Florida Citizens Returning From Incarceration To Know They Have Voting Rights, Too
September 19, 2020 – Our nation is at a reckoning. We are deep in a social justice movement that is changing our nation, power structures and the status quo as we know it.
September 19, 2020 – Thirty years after MTV launched its Rock The Vote campaign, the brand is helping in an eleventh-hour push to help Floridians with felony convictions register to vote in time for the November election.
September 17, 2020 – The Ad Council, ViacomCBS and other partners are joining forces to launch Vote For Your Life, a nonpartisan national campaign urging young people to vote in this year’s election on Nov. 3.
September 17, 2020 – The general election is less than two months away and reports of voter suppression tactics being used to prevent certain groups from casting their ballots are in full swing.
September 16, 2020 – Felons who have completed their sentences will not have their voting rights restored as intended by the voters who passed Amendment 4, until all fines, fees, costs and financial terms of those sentences are met.
September 15, 2020 – Florida can require people who have been convicted of a felony to pay all outstanding fines, fees and restitution before they’re allowed to vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has ruled.
September 14, 2020 – Ex-felons in Florida are reacting to a federal appellate court ruling that requires all felons to pay all fines, restitution and legal fees before they can vote again. That ruling reverses a lower court judge’s decision that gave Florida felons the right to vote regardless of outstanding financial obligations.
September 14, 2020 – Last month, Desmond Meade voted for the first time in 30 years, casting a ballot in his home state of Florida. His status as a former felon had prevented him from doing so before under the state’s previous felony disenfranchisement laws.
September 13, 2020 – Looks like it’s up to the majority of Florida voters to help ex-felons — “returning citizens” — cast a ballot in November. The state’s Republican leaders have long made clear that it’s better for the GOP if ex-felons are denied that chance.
September 13, 2020 – Delivering a victory to Gov. Ron DeSantis, a divided federal appeals court on Friday upheld the constitutionality of a Florida law requiring felons to complete all financial terms of their sentences — including paying fines, fees, costs and restitution — to be eligible to vote.
September 13, 2020 – Looks like it’s up to the majority of Florida voters to help ex-felons — “returning citizens” — cast a ballot in November. The state’s Republican leaders have long made clear that it’s better for the GOP if ex-felons are denied that chance.
September 12, 2020 – Florida felons must pay all fines, restitution and legal fees before they can regain their right to vote, a federal appellate court ruled Friday in a case that could have broad implications for the November elections.
LeBron, Athletes Wielding Peashooters in Gunfight — Need Help to Fix Rigged Game
September 12, 2020 – It’s hard to win a game when the rules were made for you to lose. This is a reality that many athletes are facing as they take on the challenge of helping to bring equality to a nation that has never practiced the principles it preaches.
September 12, 2020 – Delivering a victory to Gov. Ron DeSantis, a divided federal appeals court on Friday upheld the constitutionality of a Florida law requiring felons to complete all financial terms of their sentences – including paying fines, fees, costs and restitution – to be eligible to vote.
September 11, 2020 – The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Fridaythat convicted, non-violent felons in Florida who have completed their sentences cannot exercise their right to vote until they have paid off any owed legal fees, fines or restitution.
September 11, 2020 – As many as 775,000 former felons in Florida will not be able to vote if they haven’t paid back all fines, fees and restitution, a federal appeals court ruled Friday, overturning a lower court’s decision that they could go to the polls this year.
September 11, 2020 – As many as 775,000 former felons in Florida will not be able to vote if they haven’t paid back all fines, fees and restitution, a federal appeals court ruled Friday, overturning a lower court’s decision that they could go to the polls this year.
Federal appeals court blocks hundreds of thousands of felons in Florida who still owe fines and fees from registering to vote
September 11, 2020 – A federal appeals court on Friday ruled that hundreds of thousands of felons in Florida who still owe fines and fees may not register to vote, making it unlikely that they will be able to cast ballots in the upcoming presidential election.
September 11, 2020 – In a significant reversal, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta ruled on Friday that a Florida law requiring people with serious criminal convictions to pay court fines and fees before they can register to vote is constitutional.
September 11, 2020 – Florida felons must pay all fines, restitution and legal fees before they can regain their right to vote, a federal appellate court ruled Friday.
September 11, 2020 – Felons in Florida can only regain the right to vote once they’ve paid all fines, restitution and legal fees, a federal appellate court ruled Friday, reversing a decision from a lower court that declared Florida’s “pay-to-vote” law unconstitutional.
September 11, 2020 – A federal appeals court on Friday overturned a judge’s ruling that people with felony convictions don’t have to pay off all court fees and fines before voting, dealing a setback to advocates for 2018′s Amendment 4.
September 11, 2020 – As many as 2 million formerly incarcerated felons are poised to regain their voting rights ahead of the November election, an influx that could swing critical elections in states like Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Iowa.
Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee Gives $100,000 to Florida Rights Restoration Coalition's Fines and Fees Program
September 11, 2020 – The Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee announced a series of initiatives designed to increase voter awareness and engagement throughout South Florida.
September 10, 2020 – Lifting the spirits of others is something the Orlando Magic take pride in doing. The organization’s work in the community has helped countless people make strides in their lives.
September 9, 2020 – Last month Desmond Meade voted for the first time in 30 years, casting a ballot in his home state of Florida.
September 9, 2020 – In this week’s Central Florida: Beyond the Soundbite podcast: Amendment 4, or better known as the felon voting rights. This topic has been the subject of continued fiery debate.
September 8, 2020 – People from across the country flock to Florida for the endless warm weather and miles of beaches, but as the November presidential election inches closer, people are turning their heads to the state for another reason.
'All In: The Fight for Democracy': Film Review
September 4, 2020 – Rising political star Stacey Abrams of Georgia serves as both interviewee and producer for Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes’ doc about the struggle to attain and maintain voting rights in America.
September 3, 2020 – The home of the Orlando Magic will be open for early voting this election season as teams around the league try to urge fans and citizens to vote.
September 2, 2020 – With a push from the Orlando Magic, Amway Center is about to become the largest early-voting site in Orange County. And one of the Magic’s tallest players could be welcoming voters as they walk in.
August 2, 2020 – Desmond Meade will not forget the first time he spoke with Orlando Magic Players. When Meade asked them about current events, specifically referring to the deaths of unarmed Black men George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, one of the Magic players spoke with utter anguish in his voice and despair on his face.
September 1, 2020 – Christine Vincent was hopeful in November 2018 when she thought she could vote again. Florida had just passed a historic amendment giving former felons the right back after the completion of their sentence, and she felt like she could be a “normal” member of society again.
August 31, 2020 – Another group working on outreach is the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, which has raised $4 million to cover fees and restitution costs that might keep people from voting. The nonpartisan group so far has donated up to $1,500 each to 3,000 people, according to its president, Desmond Meade.
August 31, 2020 – With the election hanging in the balance, Republican leaders continue a long fight over voting rights. Betty Riddle grew up in Sarasota, Florida, in a segregated neighborhood that people back in the nineteen-sixties called Black Bottom.
August 30, 2020 – The Orlando Magic’s season is over, but their fight to be part of positive change in their community will continue even after the season ends. The first part of diagnosing or solving a problem is education and discovery.
August 30, 2020 – Orlando attorney John Morgan and his firm Morgan & Morgan launched a fundraising campaign Monday to help felons regain the right to vote.
‘All In: The Fight for Democracy’ – meet the women behind new voter suppression documentary, mobilization campaign featuring Stacey Abrams
August 29, 2020 – If not for systematic voter suppression in 2018, Stacey Abrams might today be the governor of Georgia – and the first Black woman governor in American history.
Orlando Magic Players, Coaches Meet With Orange County Sheriff John Mina as Push for Social Reform Continues
August 28, 2020 – The Orlando Magic and its players are fully committed to doing everything in their power to create real, systemic change. A key to that happening is good communication.
August 28, 2020 – Philanthropists are assembling significant sums to expand and protect voting rights ahead of an uncertain 2020 election.
LeBron James Is Helping Spearhead a Multimillion-Dollar Effort to Recruit Poll Workers for the Election
August 27, 2020 – LeBron James is doing what he can to bring people to the polls. The NBA star is helping to spearhead a multimillion-dollar effort to recruit poll workers ahead of the election in November.
August 27, 2020 – Heading into the NBA campus, the Orlando Magic hoped to leverage their participation in the league’s restart to amplify their efforts to combat racism and bring about social change.
August 26, 2020 – Florida taxpayers have spent more than $1.7 million — and are on the hook for hundreds of thousands more — in the state’s defense of a 2019 law requiring felons to pay “legal financial obligations” to be eligible to vote, according to state records.
August 26, 2020 – About 90 minutes before the start of what could be his team’s last game of what’s been arguably the most challenging season in NBA history, Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford spent some time talking about something not related to basketball.
August 26, 2020 – In support of a fair and all-inclusive voting process for 2020, the Players Coalition is donating $20,000 towards efforts to restore the right to vote for people with past felony convictions in Florida.
LeBron James' More Than a Vote coalition to fund recruitment efforts of poll workers in swing states
August 26, 2020 – More Than a Vote partnered last month with teams in Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee and Los Angeles to transform arenas into polling sites. The group also donated $100,000 to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition’s efforts to pay outstanding court debts of former felons so they can register to vote.
August 24, 2020 – Orlando attorney John Morgan and his firm Morgan & Morgan launched a fundraising campaign Monday to help felons regain the right to vote. As part of an effort to help the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition’s Fines and Fees Fund, Morgan announced he will match the first $100,000 in donations to his “Voice for Voters” campaign.
'We have to continue to fight:' Voting rights advocates await Amendment 4 'poll tax' decision ahead of November election
August 23, 2020 – Voting rights advocates in Florida are closely watching an ongoing case in federal appeals court that could determine the constitutionality of the state’s requirement that released felons pay legal fees before being able to vote.
August 19, 2020 – Up against a state legislature that makes it difficult for almost 1.5 million disenfranchised Floridians to register to vote in this swing state, More Than a Vote has helped re-enfranchise a population with donations to Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, the chief voting rights organization.
August 19, 2020 – Attorney Charles Cooper argued Amendment 4, as presented to voters, specifically said the right to vote would be restored after all “all terms of sentence” were completed. “The voters decided that the right to vote of a person who lost it as a consequence of his conviction of a felony should be restored only if he has paid the full debt he owes to society,” he said.
August 19, 2020 – Florida’s Aug. 18 primaries were marred once more by the exclusion of hundreds of thousands of voters due to harsh felony disenfranchisement statutes and to the confusion wrought by the state’s 2019 mandate that people with felony convictions pay off their court debt before voting.
August 19, 2020 – Another shockwave went through Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit Tuesday as yet another outsider candidate running on a criminal justice reform platform upset the establishment in the race for the State Attorney’s office.
August 19, 2020 – A federal appeals court on Tuesday spent more than two hours weighing whether to overturn a contentious Florida law restricting felon voting rights, with one judge suggesting that doing so would paradoxically require the court to strike down a public referendum that eliminated the state’s ban on felon voting.
August 19, 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented barriers to the already difficult process of former inmates navigating their return to society, leaving advocates scrambling for new ways to help.
Over 1 million former convicts in Florida regained the right to vote — and this group is trying to register them for the 2020 elections
August 18, 2020 – Former convicts in Florida — more than 1 million people — will be allowed to vote in the 2020 elections. The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is canvassing door to door trying to register voters, despite hurdles from the state’s Republican-controlled legislature.
August 18, 2020 – An attorney representing the state of Florida told a federal appeals court Tuesday the state can legally require felons to fully pay all fines, fees and restitution before allowing them to vote, while attorneys representing some felons argued that constitutes an illegal poll tax and discriminates against the poor.
August 18, 2020 – It’s a day for second chances as thousands of ex-felons take part in Florida’s Primary Election. Tuesday, many are experiencing a first at the polls under Florida’s Amendment Four for felon voting rights.
August 18, 2020 – A hearing was held on Tuesday in the ongoing battle to restore voting rights to Florida’s ex-felons. At the center of the hearing was whether ex-felons should have to pay fines and fees from their conviction before going to the polls.
August 18, 2020 – A new political action committee created by Amendment 4 backers to support State Attorney candidate Monique Worrell has received more than $2.2 million and spent more than $1.5 million, mostly on television commercials in the Orlando market.
August 17, 2020 – Among those casting a ballot in Florida’s primary election Tuesday is Desmond Meade. Meade, who is the executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, has become the face of the movement for Floridians who have completed felony sentences, and it’s the first time he’ll be voting himself in thirty years.
August 17, 2020 – The fight to restore felon voting rights continues in the state of Florida just ahead of the state primary on Tuesday. Two former felons say the state can do more to make sure everyone’s vote counts.
Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill Pushes For New Legislation Following Her Brother’s Death From COVID-19
August 17, 2020 – State Sen. Randolph Bracy says he plans to introduce new legislation next session to give families of prisoners better access to health care information during their incarceration.
August 16, 2020 – Voters gathered in the parking lot of the Calder Casino around Noon and drove over to the North Dade Regional Library about an hour later, led by a charter bus from the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, leaders of the movement for Amendment 4 in Florida, which restored voting rights for some felons.
August 16, 2020 – When Floridians overwhelmingly approved a measure allowing most felons to vote after completing their sentences, many expected Democrats to benefit most from the participation of up to 1.4 million newly eligible voters in this year’s election.
August 14, 2020 – Players Coalition is donating $20,000 towards efforts to restore the right to vote for people with past felony convictions in Florida. The donation will go towards Florida Rights Restoration Coalition‘s (FRRC) Fines and Fees program, which assists returning citizens who have outstanding fees to complete their sentences and become eligible to vote.
August 14, 2020 – Ángel Sánchez considers voting in elections a “sacred right” — even if this Cuban-American resident of Miami may not achieve that blessing in the Tuesday primary.
August 14, 2020 – Florida voters are heading to the polls Tuesday, August 18 for the primary elections. But hundreds of thousands of felons, who thought they would be able to vote once again, cannot cast their ballots next week.
August 13, 2020 – The Florida Secretary of State quietly published guidance for people with felon convictions to determine whether they are eligible to register to vote.
August 13, 2020 – Angel Sanchez lost his right to vote before he was old enough to even cast a ballot. But after his release from prison in 2011, he did everything he could to turn his life around.
August 13, 2020 – Desmond Meade and Neil Volz are counting down the days to Aug. 18 — it’s the midterm election, and it will be the first time both men have been allowed to vote in decades.
August 13, 2020 – Here’s an unexpected development in the battle over felon voting rights. Nearly two years after voters got rid of the state’s lifetime voting ban for most ex-felons the state has released instructions/guidance/standards on how eligibility works for those covered by Amendment 4.
August 13, 2020 – In Commitment 2020, more money is pouring into a local State Attorney race. Footing the bill is a new political action committee, and it’s paying for a new political ad that supports candidate Monique Worrell.
August 12, 2020 – Desmond Meade and Neil Volz, leaders of the Florida Rights RestorationCoalition that ushered a state constitutional amendment to restore felons’ voting rights in Florida, launched a political committee to support candidates.
August 11, 2020 – August 18 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment — the largest expansion of the franchise in the country’s history.
August 11, 2020 – “The Uncounted,” launched on Tuesday by the Condé Nast-owned magazine, is a series about disenfranchised voters that specifically highlights the stories of women of color.
August 11, 2020 – This 2020 primary election comes as a first for some voters — as it is in the case of a Southwest Florida man who voted on Tuesday for the very first time.
Amendment 4 backers announce $2 million will go towards paying fines and fees of past felony convictions
August 10, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition gathered on Monday to announce that they are have raised $2 million to pay off funds for people with past convictions.
August 7, 2020 – WESH 2 News presents the debate for the state attorney for Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit. The circuit covers Orange and Osceola counties, more than 2,000 square miles and serves more than 1.3 million residents, making it one of the largest circuits in Florida.
August 6, 2020 – Thursday is the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. For an update on Florida’s legal battle on restoring voting rights to many ex-prisoners, WMNF spoke with the main proponent of Amendment 4, Desmond Meade.
August 5, 2020 – Becoming successful for many business owner means overcoming your past. August is National Black Business Month and News 6 is honoring them by putting a spotlight on the ones right here in our community.
August 5, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), with legal support from Dēmos, filed an amicus brief at the 11th Circuit in support of the late-May ruling in Jones v. DeSantis, which protects the promise of Amendment 4 by guaranteeing returning citizens can access the ballot—a decision being challenged by Fla. Governor Ron DeSantis in the pending appeal.
More than 1 million former felons in Florida regained the right to vote — and this group is trying to register them for the 2020 elections
August 4, 2020 – Former convicted felons in Florida – more than 1 million people – will be allowed to vote in the 2020 elections.
August 3, 2020 – “Though cloaked in new labels, Florida’s pay-to-vote system is simply another poll tax substitute imposing a financial bar to voting that the Constitution bans and that courts rejected long ago,” lawyers from K&L Gates said in an amicus brief for the former DOJ attorneys.
July 30, 2020 – Big basketball names like the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers star Lebron James are raising awareness and money for ex-felons’ ability to vote.
July 29, 2020 – Volunteers with the League of Women Voters of Florida will begin this week to start contacting about 80,000 former felons who don’t owe any fines and fees to help them get registered to vote.
July 25, 2020 – Dozens of motorcyclists from across South Florida gathered in Miami Gardens Saturday morning for what’s being called a ride for racial justice.
Lebron James' voting rights group to help Florida's ex-felons who owe fines and fees register to vote
July 25, 2020 – An organization started by NBA superstar LeBron James and other Black athletes and entertainers announced Friday that it will help Floridians with prior felony convictions register to vote in the November election.
July 24, 2020 – LeBron James’ group More Than A Vote plans to donate $100,000 to help register Florida voters with felony records by paying their court debts and fees. More Than A Vote said it will donate the money to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.
LeBron James’ More Than A Vote Group Raising $100,000 For Florida Rights Restoration Coalition To Pay Fines, Fees To Allow People To Register To Vote
July 24, 2020 – More Than A Vote announced a partnership Friday with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition that is aimed at securing voting rights for Florida citizens with past felony convictions.
July 24, 2020 – A group founded by NBA superstar LeBron James and other Black athletes and entertainers is stepping into the fight to register Florida voters with felony records, saying it will help pay court debts and fees so they can cast ballots in the November presidential election.
July 22, 2020 – Perhaps it is reasonable to argue that a fine associated with a sentence should be paid and that restitution for a victim should be honored.
July 21, 2020 – The Magic have remained steadfast in their belief that they can use the resumption of the NBA season to amplify their efforts to combat social injustice and inspire others to join them in seeking equality for all.
July 20, 2020 – The U.S. Supreme Court declined to make it easier for convicted felons in Florida to vote if they haven’t paid all their court fines. Critics fighting for the right to vote say requiring payments is a twist on old Jim Crow laws.
July 18, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition hosted the Ride for Racial Justice. Organizers say the goal is to bring awareness to the reforms needed to prevent police brutality.
July 17, 2020 – A U.S. Supreme Court decision is impacting upcoming elections in Florida. Voters approved Amendment 4 in 2018, restoring voting rights to most felons who finished their sentences.
July 17, 2020 – A federal judge’s ruling that had expanded the number of felons in Florida who may vote remains on hold following the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene on Thursday.
July 17, 2020 – A Supreme Court ruling Thursday threatened the voting rights of one million ex-felons in the state of Florida.
July 17, 2020 – Neil Volz was previously convicted of a felony crime. He joined a million other Floridians as an eligible voter after Amendment 4 passed in 2018.
July 16, 2020 – The high court refused to weigh in on a federal appeals court decision blocking felons from voting before paying their court fees. The ruling decided in a 6-3 vote has created another obstacle for some felons in Central Florida.
July 16, 2020 – The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Thursday to overturn a federal appeals court’s decision that blocked some Florida felons’ eligibility to participate in elections — a major blow to efforts to restore voting rights to as many as 1.4 million people in the battleground state.
July 16, 2020 – In a blow to voting rights that could have consequences for the presidential election, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand for now a Florida law that restricts the ability of felons to cast ballots at the polls.
July 15, 2020 – Like every mother, I want my children to have the chance to achieve their dreams and accomplish that which their heart desires. My hopes for my children are no different than those of most mothers.
July 15, 2020 – The criminal justice system is an integral part of our society but it’s not without its faults. While acknowledging the flaws is the first step, it will take more than that to spark real change and create a system that’s fair and equal to all of its participants, regardless of their race or socioeconomic status.
July 15, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) assembled hundreds of motorcycle riders from across the country to “Ride for Racial Justice” in Florida. After the success of their Orlando event, FRRC traveled to different cities throughout the state to raise awareness about police accountability, racial disparities in the criminal legal system and encourage voter participation.
NFL wide receiver Sammy Watkins encourages convicted felons with restored rights to register to vote
July 14, 2020 – During Fort Myers resident Neil Volz’s successful years-long battle to restore voting rights to over 1.4 million convicted felons in Florida and his subsequent quest to raise awareness amongst those whose rights have been restored, he is frequently reminded of a quote from Nelson Mandela.
July 10, 2020 – With hopes of bringing about social change and ultimately ending racism in Central Florida and beyond, nearly two dozen members of the Orlando Magic participated in a powerful video asking others seeking equality for all to, “Walk With Us.”
July 9, 2020 – Robert Peoples remembers when African Americans won the right to vote in Alabama back in 1965.
July 8, 2020 – Voting rights advocates scrambled this week to understand the impact of an appeals court decision blocking some Florida felons’ eligibility to participate in elections.
July 8, 2020 – Voting rights advocates scrambled this week to understand the impact of an appeals court decision blocking some Florida felons’ eligibility to participate in elections – a blow to efforts to restore voting rights to as many as 1.4 million people in the state.
July 8, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is calling on the governor to enforce more testing inside Florida prisons. On Wednesday, ABC Action News discovered at least one prison, Avon Park Correctional, to be entirely in medical quarantine.
July 8, 2020 – The Orlando Magic arrived Tuesday at Walt Disney World to enter the NBA bubble with some players wearing T-shirts to promote their recently unveiled “Get off the bench and in the game” voting-awareness campaign.
July 5, 2020 – On this week’s program, we took a closer look at voting in Florida and how the election might play out here this fall. First, we discussed the ongoing battle over Amendment 4 – and who is eligible to vote –
Book on grass-roots efforts to save representative democracy recognizes Reclaim Idaho and tells the story of Desmond Meade
July 4, 2020 – “Unrigged,” by investigative reporter David Daley, is the story of local citizens rising up at the state and local level with ballot initiatives to restore representative democracy across America.
ADVERTISEMENT MIKE BIANCHI SPORTS Orlando Magic to voters: Get off the bench and in the game! | Commentary
July 4, 2020 – Who would have ever thought that Desmond Meade would also become an NBA coach? But that’s exactly what he’s doing now. He’s coaching the Orlando Magic.
July 3, 2020 – This weekend, Americans celebrate the country’s birthday—and the rights and freedoms many of us often take for granted—including the right to vote.
July 3, 2020 – On this week’s program, we took a closer look at voting in Florida and how the election might play out here this fall.
July 3, 2020 – It remains unclear if hundreds of thousands of Floridians who served their time for non-violent crimes will be able to vote this fall.
July 2, 2020 – A federal appeals court threw a bomb into preparations for Florida’s August primary and November general election this week when it blocked a lower court order that would have allowed thousands of former felons to participate in the voting.
June 30, 2020 – Clifford recently took part in a Zoom call with social justice activist Bryan Stevenson, leaders of the Obama Foundation and Desmond Meade, the Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition who led a successful campaign to restore the voting rights to 1.4 million Floridians with prior felony convictions.
June 30, 2020 – “Last week, Desmond Meade – who I’m sure many of you know from Florida Rights Restoration Coalition – spoke to our group (our players, basketball operations, etc.) and he zeroed in on voting (the importance of voting), which speaks directly to the question that I think most of us have at this time – which is,what can I do to help? Voting is obviously a very important part of that for everybody.”
June 30, 2020 – Opponents of the Florida law requiring felons to repay fines, fees and restitution have argued from the start that it’s a poll tax, something banned by the U.S. Constitution. That argument has its roots in the 24th amendment which stopped governments from charging people to vote.
June 29, 2020 – Voter registration advocates are rushing to register new voters in the run-up to the August primary and November presidential election. In Florida, the effort has been slowed as the state fights a lawsuit over whether felons have to repay fines and fees before they can vote.
June 24, 2020 – Omar Epps’ new short film “Unbreaking America: Justice for Sale” has caught the attention of stars like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lawrence for its raw look at prison corruption. In the film, Epps and voting rights activist Desmond Meade are demanding change to the criminal justice system in America.
June 19, 2020 – Current events have turned everyone’s attention to the nation’s criminal justice system. Most Americans agree that the system is broken. Yet, in a new “Unbreaking America” film, RepresentUs makes the case that the criminal justice system remains broken because the broken U.S. political system keeps it that way.
Jennifer Lawrence joins Twitter to demand justice for Breonna Taylor: ‘We must not allow the erasure of Black women'
June 18, 2020 – Jennifer Lawrence has joined Twitter this week — which she formerly vowed to never do — for a good cause: demanding racial justice.
June 18, 2020 – Desmond Meade pumped his fist in the air and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” blasted from the speakers. Many of the former felons — liberal and conservative, black and white, radical reformers and deplorables alike — who packed this Orlando hotel conference room mouthed the words along with him.
June 16, 2020 – Could hundreds of thousands of former felons in Florida who are now eligible to vote tip the scale in the 2020 presidential election?
June 14, 2020 – Nebula Jackson, 24 of the Florida restoration rights coalition talked with the crowd about registering to vote. A group of about 100 gathered in downtown Tampa to protest against racism and police brutality on Sunday, June 14, 2020 in Tampa.
June 13, 2020 – As people continue to hit the streets and call for change across the country following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, motorcyclists in Orlando are joining in with a Ride For Justice.
Protests against racism, police violence continue throughout Central Florida as Zimmerman acquittal anniversary looms
June 13, 2020 – Thousands gathered in cities and towns across around Central Florida to protest police violence following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, including hundreds in Sanford, often considered the birthplace of the Black Lives Matter movement.
June 13, 2020 – A large group of motorcyclists hit the road Saturday morning calling for change and to protest police brutality. The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and Central Florida Motorcycle Council held the “Ride for Racial Justice.”
June 13, 2020 – Hundreds of motorcyclists made their way through Orlando Saturday to protest police brutality. They rode from Florida Rights Restoration Coalition headquarters to the Orange County courthouse in an event called Ride for Racial Justice.
Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and local motorcyclists to 'Ride for Racial Justice' and protest police brutality in Orlando on Saturday
June 12, 2020 – This weekend, local bikers and motorcyclists are teaming up with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to ride out to the Orange County Courthouse. The ‘Ride for Racial Justice” will protest police brutality and highlight the continuing fight over ex-felons’ voting rights in the state of Florida.
June 5 , 2020 – As August’s state primaries and November’s general election near, legal battles continue in Florida over access to the ballot box and the ballots.
June 5, 2020 – Desmond Meade, President of the Florida Rights Restoration Committee, was awarded the first #TimeDone National Achievement Award and had one of the most compelling stories I have ever heard.
June 3, 2020 – In 1991, 14 Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) police officers brutally beat Rodney King, an African American motorist. Calling what these officers did to King “police brutality” paints a partial picture but is inadequate to explain their impact.
KILLER MIKE & GRASSROOTS LEADERS SPEAK UP ... Here's How We're Battling Racism
June 2, 2020 – Killer Mike’s call with the community leaders and grassroots organizers has wrapped up, and his mission was accomplished … they had a large platform to inform the public of vital work being done to end racism, and how people can help.
May 29, 2020 – The injustice can’t be much plainer than this: “The state of Florida has adopted a system under which nearly a million otherwise-eligible citizens will be allowed to vote only if they pay an amount of money.”
May 28, 2020 – It was no shock Sunday when a federal judge ruled that Florida’s law restricting voting rights for ex-felons was unconstitutional. The only surprise was the state waiting all of 48 hours to announce it would appeal. Its determination to keep ex-felons away from ballot boxes is such you’d think nothing would slow it down.
May 28, 2020 – In six states, reforms have restored voting rights to more than one million people since 2018. But many public agencies aren’t doing enough to assist them, and the pandemic dealt a blow to grassroots plans to pick up the slack.
May 27, 2020 – President Trump tees off at his critics while accusing a famous TV host of murder. Meanwhile, Biden’s unique approach to the campaign trail insults his biggest supporters. And battlelines are drawn over mail-in voting … is it really a Democrat scam to rig the election?!
May 26, 2020 – Florida felons who have completed their prison sentences and parole terms are one step closer to regaining their right to vote after a federal court ruled against a state law that would have denied felons the right to vote until they paid off outstanding fines and court fees.
May 25, 2020 – A Florida law requiring felons to pay legal fees as part of their sentences before regaining the vote is unconstitutional for those unable to pay, or unable to find out how much they owe, a federal judge ruled Sunday.
May 25, 2020 – A federal judge’s ruling on felon voting in Florida was a bombshell. The state can’t stop felons from voting if they’re too poor to pay back court-ordered fees, fines and restitution to victims, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle wrote in a ruling issued Sunday.
May 24, 2020 – A federal judge has gutted a Florida state law requiring felons to pay all court fines and fees before they can register to vote, clearing the way for thousands of Floridians to register in time for the November presidential election.
May 23, 2020 – Florida voters in 2018 overwhelmingly approved a proposition to allow roughly 1.5 million felons in the state to be given back their right to vote.
May 16, 2020 – In Florida, people with felony records are fighting to regain their voting rights. But the coronavirus has made that struggle more difficult. NewsHour Weekend’s Ivette Feliciano spoke to Desmond Meade of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition about what effect the virus has had on their chances of voting in November elections.
In Florida, felons must pay court debts before they can vote. But with no system to do so, many have found it impossible.
May 13, 2020 – The promise of an amendment to Florida’s state constitution seemed huge when it was overwhelmingly approved in November 2018: As many as 1.5 million felons previously barred from casting ballots in the state would soon be able to vote.
"Let the people out who are due for release": a proposal seeks to reduce the effect of the pandemic in prisons
May 11, 2020 – Ángel Sánchez spent 12 years in prison and is now about to graduate as a lawyer and he argues that the prison system is not ready to deal with the pandemic. He proposes that those who are close to their release date be let out early.
May 9, 2020 – To help combat the spread of COVID-19, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition partnered with Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill and Onyx Magazine on April 21 to distribute 3,000 masks to Orlando residents. Masks were distributed at the Coalition for the Homeless, the Salvation Army and two apartment complexes.
May 6, 2020 – Leaders from the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) visited the Highlands County and Broward County Jails on Tuesday to donate thousands of protective masks to both facilities in response to recent reports of lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
May 3, 2020 – One ex-felon launched a grassroots drive against Florida’s Jim Crow-style voting laws — but the fight’s not over.
May 3, 2020 – A group of former inmates are helping to protect guards and inmates in our community. The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition purchased twelve hundred masks.
April 28, 2020 – A federal trial began April 27 in Tallahassee concerning the restoration of voting rights for most non-violent former felons in Florida.
April 26, 2020 – A federal court will begin hearing a case on Monday that could decide whether hundreds of thousands of newly enfranchised felons in the key swing state of Florida will be able to vote in November’s election.
‘People first’ policies needed to confront COVID-19 in prisons, jails. It’s not about politics. | Opinion
April 14, 2020 – When partisan politics take over the policymaking process, it is ultimately the most vulnerable in our society who lose.
April 7, 2020 – The federal judge overseeing the ongoing dispute between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and released felons who want to vote handed the Republican governor another defeat Tuesday.
April 5, 2020 – In the quest to restore voting rights to the nearly 1.4 million Floridians with prior felony convictions, there is new hope that a class action designation will make that possible.
March 31, 2020 – A federal appellate court on Tuesday rejected Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to have the court reconsider a ruling that found that Florida felons who have served their time but can’t pay outstanding financial obligations must be allowed to vote.
March 27, 2020 – In Eatonville, Florida, a recount confirmed that incumbent town councilman Tarus Mack beat challenger Marlin Daniels by one vote in the March 17 election in the country’s first incorporated black municipality.
March 19, 2020 – Desmond Meade, President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, said he was feeling “positive” as he spoke to Colorlines on March 17.
March 16, 2020 – It’s been 16 months since Floridians voted to restore voting rights for roughly 1.4 million felons who had been permanently banned from casting a ballot by a law passed during the Jim Crow era.
March 12, 2020 – Floridians are next in line to vote this Presidential primary season, with the primaries scheduled for Tuesday, March 17.
March 11, 2020 – Angie Nixon racked up tons of unpaid overtime to help put Medicaid expansion on the 2020 Florida ballot.
March 9, 2020 – Desmond Meade has been fighting for rights restoration for Florida’s returning citizens for decades. The President of Florida Rights Restoration Coalition spoke to that fight Monday morning at a panel conversation hosted by Rep. Charlie Crist.
March 9, 2020 – Floridians with past criminal convictions experience significant barriers when entering the workforce. For those pursuing an occupational license, these challenges are more pronounced.
March 9, 2020 – This month’s presidential primary election is the first statewide vote in Florida since the passage of Amendment 4, the 2018 constitutional amendment that aimed to restore the voting rights to an estimated 1.4 million people with felony convictions.
March 8, 2020 – It’s been more than 10 years since Gary Daughtry Sr., 66, had the right to vote and since he was released from prison. Previously in the state of Florida, anyone who committed a felony lost his or her right to vote and had to petition the governor to become re-enfranchised.
February 25, 2020 – Voting rights activist & Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Desmond Meade sits down with Ebro int he Morning to discuss the push to make voting rights legal after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation.
February 22, 2020 – Florida’s felon voting rights initiative, known as Amendment 4, scored a big victory Wednesday when a federal appeals court ruled that the Legislature’s effort to limit voting to only felons who have paid off all their court debts was unconstitutional.
February 20, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is pushing the state clemency board to ease its rules and clear the way for more felons to regain their rights.
February 19, 2020 – A legal and political battle over voting rights in Florida reached another milestone on Wednesday when a federal appeals court ruled that a law limiting the voting rights of people with felony convictions as unconstitutional.
February 19, 2020 – A federal appeals court rocked Florida, the nation’s biggest presidential battleground state, by ruling Wednesday that felons cannot be barred from voting because they failed to pay all fines, fees and restitution stemming from their cases.
February 17, 2020 – A Florida group advocating for clemency showed up at the Capitol in big numbers to campaign for the restoration of civil rights.
February 17, 2020 – Neil Volz two years ago spent his time in Tallahassee hoping to turn returning citizens into registered voters. That mission succeeded — for the most part — with passage of Amendment 4.
January 9, 2020 – One year ago, Florida enacted the biggest expansion of the right to vote in America in a generation.
January 8, 2020 – Florida passed an amendment in 2018, promising to restore voting rights for over a million Floridians with felony convictions. But that hope turned to confusion soon after.
December 25, 2019 – Thirty Hillsborough County residents received the Christmas gift they had hoped for since the November 2018 general election — the restoration of their right to cast their ballot in an election.
December 19, 2019 – When Angel Sanchez graduated from Valencia College in 2014 – and led his fellow graduates in a rousing chant of “we don’t settle, we succeed,” at the conclusion of his commencement speech – people at Valencia knew he was going places.
December 17, 2019 – The Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office is starting a program aimed at giving convicted felons back their right to vote. And it revolves around money.
November 24, 2019 – Florida voters overwhelmingly passed Amendment 4 last year with the intention of automatically restoring voting rights to most felons who have served their time, but how it works remains cloudy.
November 13, 2019 – Check the box and you lose the ability to secure a job, rent an apartment or get a loan. The formerly incarcerated—returning citizens—often face a cruel irony in America.
November 8, 2019 – Singer John Legend was on hand to lend support Friday as 18 former felons were granted the right to vote in what Miami officials called a simple and streamlined process.
November 2, 2019 – Desmond Meade can’t vote in Orlando’s mayoral contest. But he’ll be in the city on Saturday anyway, cheering as hundreds of recently reinfranchised ex-felons and their families head to the polls together.
November 2, 2019 – Several convicted felons voted for the first time Saturday in Orange County, in the first election season since Amendment Four passed.
October 22, 2019 – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday he’s willing to use his powers as governor to grant potentially tens of thousands of nonviolent felons the ability to serve on juries and run for office.
October 14, 2019 – Desmond Meade succeeded in building a movement to restore voting rights to 1.4 million U.S. citizens in Florida. Until recently, he faced a barrier securing housing.
September 6, 2019 – Ten months after Amendment 4 was passed in the 2018 Florida election, voting rights that were supposed to be restored to 1.4 million Floridians formerly convicted of a felony who lost their right to vote but served the entirety of their sentences (with the exception of people convicted of murder or felony sex crimes) still have not been for some.
July 3, 2019 – A war of words has broken out over the Amendment 4 bill signed into law Friday by Gov. Ron DeSantis, which requires former felons to pay off all fines and fees included as part of their sentence before their right to vote is restored.
April 2019 – What’s the hardest thing you have ever done in life? What do you name among your greatest accomplishments? How will you be remembered after you’re gone? To each of us, life has dealt a different set of circumstances that have shaped us to become who we are and have influenced our drive and passions.
March 28, 2019 – Orlando lawyer Desmond Meade, for his successful efforts to pass Amendment 4 last November, was named the Orlando Sentinel’s 2018 Central Floridian of the Year.
February 5, 2019 – Desmond Meade is a finalist for the Orlando Sentinel’s Central Floridian of the Year. Meade is the leader of the Amendment 4 movement which granted voting rights back to ex-felons.
January 8, 2019 – Following approval of Amendment 4 by a 64 percent majority of Florida voters during midterm elections, Floridians convicted of felonies now have the right to vote. The new state law takes effect Tuesday, Jan. 8, restoring voting rights to an estimated 1.4 million people who fulfilled their sentences following a felony conviction.
October 31, 2018 – Angel Sanchez had no time for lunch, much less another interview. The second-year student in the University of Miami School of Law already had so much on tap, including writing an essay on prison for the Harvard Law Review and teaching a high school law class, that he was skipping his own classes and duties at Miami Law’s Innocence Clinic.
October 23, 2018 – In Florida, returning citizens – or those with felony convictions – are leading a movement by asking: If we’ve paid our debt to society, why are we denied the right to vote? Amendment 4, which is on the November ballot, is capturing nationwide attention.
October 18, 2018 – Desmond Meade wants his voting rights back. Almost two decades ago, Meade spent three years in prison after a drug charge conviction.
Desmond Meade Hopes to Win Voting Rights for 1.4M Floridians with Felony Convictions—Including Himself
October 16, 2018 – Voters in Florida are preparing to vote on a measure that would restore voting rights to 1.4 million people with nonviolent felonies who have fully completed their sentences.
October 12, 2018 – Neil was a Washington, DC, insider, a chief of staff for a powerful congressperson, a staff director for a congressional committee, a force to be reckoned with in conservative DC circles.
October 9, 2018 – From a ‘super predator’ in the 1990s to a top scholar in 2018, it is hard to imagine a more deserving case for Amendment Four.
September 26, 2018 – Twenty-five years ago, when he was a sophomore at Ohio State, Neil Volz started volunteering for his state senator, Bob Ney.
May 23, 2018 – Should convicted felons’ civil rights be restored? Neil Volz, of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition was convicted of conspiracy as part of the Jack Ambramoff lobbying scandal more than a decade ago.
January 28, 2018 – When Desmond Meade’s wife ran for a seat in Florida’s State House in the 2016 election, he knocked on doors and helped her campaign.
August 11, 2017 – When UCF graduate Angel Sanchez starts law school in Miami this week, it will be a strange sort of homecoming.