By Mary Ellen Klas of the St. Pete Times/Miami Herald, 08/15/2016:
Restrictions on felons voting is one of the two ways Florida legally disenfranchises voters. … The other is the law that permanently requires felons who have completed their sentences to apply and petition for their voting rights to be restored. But unlike the write-in laws, which the Florida Legislature can revise to make less restrictive, the laws regulating ex-felons voting is controlled by the governor and Cabinet and the state Constitution. Any change in the rules requires the governor to be on the prevailing side.
In interviews with the Herald/Times, everyone but Gov. Rick Scott said they are open to changes in the system they installed five years ago. …
Scott, however, said through a spokesperson he does not support any changes.
Florida leads the nation in the number of felons who have served their time who are disenfranchised with an estimated 1.5 million Floridians barred from voting. According to the Sentencing Project, Florida holds nearly one-fourth of all disenfranchised former felons in the nation. Read more on that here.
The practice is a vestige of post Civil War white supremacy and now disenfranchises more whites than blacks. There once was a time when more blacks were registered to vote in Florida than whites. Our story on the history of disenfranchising black voters here.