Hundreds gather to rally returning citizens to vote early in Orlando
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – With Election Day being less than two weeks away, leaders from the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition said statewide they’ve paid off fines and fees for 40,000 returning citizens in an effort to encourage them to vote. The organization used Saturday as a statewide day of action where thousands of returning citizens are expected to early vote. “This year is the first time they get a chance to participate with society,” he said. He said his organization has since paid off fines and fees for more than 40,000 returning citizens statewide so they can vote. After performing at Florida Rights Restoration Coalition’s #FreeTheVote, rapper and activist Common took part in a roundtable discussion with SEIU union workers, which represents thousands of workers in the service industry.
Thousands of returning citizens expected to early vote in Florida on Saturday
They’re calling Saturday a statewide day of action where thousands of returning citizens are expected to early vote. In Orlando, we’re told hundreds of returning citizens will march through Parramore Saturday to the Amway Center to early vote. News 6 was there when Meade legally registered to vote last year after amendment 4 passed in Florida. “There are thousands upon thousands of returning citizens who are yearning for this opportunity, and they will not be denied and they’re going to show up,” Meade said. He said his organization has since paid off fines and fees for more than 40,000 returning citizens statewide so they can vote.
1 million face masks donated to returning citizens for Election Day
Meade said he’s inspired knowing that other returning citizens like him are getting their first chance to soon vote in a presidential election. “We as returning citizens we’ve been through a lot.”News 6 was there when Meade legally registered to vote in January of 2019. He said he’s encouraging returning citizens to vote early. He said there will be plenty of masks on hand for returning citizens and their families. With 27 days left until the general election, we’re asking state election leaders if returning citizens who are registered can still pay their fines and vote by election day.
Felons can call hotline for help regaining voting rights
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. He also said the need is there as returning citizens call their hotline for help to be able to vote in the 2020 General Election. “Overall, there are 1.4 million returning citizens that benefit from Amendment 4,” Meade said. Meade said the fines and fees owed vary depending on the case. Meade said it can be difficult for returning citizens to figure out what is owed, especially if they owe fines and fees in more than one county.
Pardon blocked for felons’ rights leader
DeSantis and Patronis on Wednesday blocked Meade’s request for a pardon, with DeSantis saying the panel should take the issue “under advisement” until it can gather more information. The state’s labyrinthine and years-long clemency process prompted Meade and other advocates to initiate the constitutional amendment, which enabled Meade to cast a ballot in last month’s primary elections. Meade said his focus is on getting his rights restored in Florida, as a pardon would restore rights such as being able to serve on juries and have firearms. Critics have condemned the state’s clemency process as a remnant of Jim Crow-era laws designed to keep Black people from voting. The number is a stark contrast to more than 155,000 felons who had their rights restored under an “automatic” process initiated by Scott’s predecessor, former Gov.
Virus, fees hinder drive to register Florida felons to vote
But Desmond Meade, president of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, the amendment's main backer, puts the number at 100,000. Most Floridians apparently agreed: The measure garnered support from liberal and conservative groups and passed with 64% of the vote. Not all felons vote Democratic, of course, but some observers argued that the party would be the big winner since African Americans are disproportionately represented in Floridas felon population and they favor the party by wide margins. William Freeman recently registered to vote after serving three years for grand theft, his fourth prison stint. There is no way for officials to immediately check if felons owe money when they register, but they could face prosecution if they lie.
Meet the Real Talk: A Candid Conversation on criminal justice reform panelists
ORLANDO, Fla. – The conversation about criminal justice reform is both important and ongoing in our country right now. They are: Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala, author Agnes Gomillion, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition president Desmond Meade and attorney Mark O’Mara. He’s known for his efforts to civically engage local communities and push for alterations to national criminal justice policies. Since then, he’s served as a legal analyst for CNN and spoken on topics including race, criminal justice reform, guns and self-defense. He founded Justice Outreach, a nonprofit designed to identify and fix problems in the criminal justice system.
Court’s decision impacts voting right of Sanford business owner who still owes $48,000 in fines
The high court refused to weigh in on a federal appeals court decision blocking felons from voting before paying their court fees. He is among thousands who are barred from the ballot box because of outstanding court fees and fines. The Sanford business owner said he spent three years in prison and was accruing interest on his fine. 7066, a bill including a requirement that all felons pay their court fees and fines before the terms. The courts order could threaten the ability for felons to vote in the November general election.