Local convicted felons register to vote in historic voter expansion

Local convicted felons register to vote in historic voter expansion

Amendment 4 is the biggest expansion of voting rights since 1971, but two months after voters approved it, there’s still a lot of confusion about how rights will be restored for more than a million people.

Convicted felons, who didn’t commit murder or a sex offense can register to vote if their sentence is complete, including any probation, parole and restitution.

Mike Hogan, the supervisor of elections for Duval County, says it is up to the state to verify the new registrations, and at this point, there’s no timeline as for how fast that will happen.

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“We don’t verify if they’re a felon or if their rights can be restored," Mike Hogan said.

It will mean a fresh start for many, but the question of what’s next is murky.

Gov. Ron Desantis says before the amendment is put into practice, the Legislature must pass a bill to clarify the amendments terms.

While others argue the amendment is written in a way to make it automatic.

Dr. Natasha Christie, a UNF professor of political science, says many times amendments are vague.

“A lot of times when policies are enacted they have very vague language, leaving the administrators the task of having to sort of fill in the blanks, and determine how this will be implemented,” she said.

For felons like Mark Krancer, who turned his life around seven years ago, this is a monumental step forward.

Krancer, who has three DUI convictions, spent 18 months behind bars. He is now sober and owns his own photography business.

His felony conviction led to Krancer losing his right to vote. On Tuesday, though, Krancer registered to vote, thanks to the new law.