Amendment 4

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Florida voters have begun heading to the polls for the March 17 Presidential Preference Primary. This election and registration for the next one are proceeding under a cloud of uncertainty, amid litigation over restoration of voting rights for ex-felons.

“It started on Monday and we have had a good turnout so far,” said Santa Rosa Supervisor of Elections Tappie Villane about early voting, which is now ongoing at four locations in the county and via vote by mail.

As of mid-day Thursday, just over 7,700 votes, nearly 6%, had been counted.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF

Controversial legislation seeking to clarify how Amendment 4 is carried out continues to move through the Florida House and Senate. The Republican-backed bills are progressing over the objections of those who argue they are not necessary.

The two versions, HB-7089 and SB-7086, each passed their respective Judiciary Committees this week, with split votes along party lines.

Jennie McKeon / WUWF

An estimated 1.4 million former felons in Florida became eligible to register to vote on Tuesday, thanks to the passage of constitutional Amendment 4.

On that first day of implementation, Pensacola resident Tranassa White marked the milestone day by completing her voter registration application - in person - at the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Office.

Walking in, White admits she’s a bit nervous, “I am.”

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

More than one million of former felons in the state of Florida will be able to register to vote beginning this Tuesday, when the Voting Restoration Amendment 4 takes effect.

There has been a lot of preparation and anticipation for implementation.

Sara Latshaw has been looking forward to this day on behalf of the many individuals in the state who were excluded from the election process due to their felony convictions and were kept out long after completion of their sentences.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

On Florida’s General Election ballot, voters are being asked to decide whether most convicted felons in the state should have their voting rights restored. Passage of proposed constitutional Amendment Four could change the lives of nearly one-and-a-half million people.

Ben Calloway of Pensacola would benefit from passage of Amendment 4.

“Yeah, I was 18 when I got in trouble the first time,” said Calloway, recalling his arrest on marijuana possession.

The race for the open seat in Florida House District 2 will be decided on Primary Day. The seat is open because the incumbent, Frank White, is running for state Attorney General and is not seeking a second term. The race will be decided in the primary because there are no Democrats or Independents running, just two Republicans: Alex Andrade and Greg Merk.

The race for the open seat in Florida House District 2 will be decided on Primary Day. The seat is open because the incumbent, Frank White, is running for state Attorney General and is not seeking a second term. The race will be decided in the primary because there are no Democrats or Independents running, just two Republicans: Alex Andrade and Greg Merk.