FELONS' CIVIL RIGHTS; Seeking Thousands Who Can Vote Anew Crist Edict Prompts Efforts to Notify Ex-Offenders
Bradner, Eric, The Florida Times Union
Byline: ERIC BRADNER
Charles Russell lost his right to vote 25 years ago, when he was convicted of a felony.
Even though the 54-year-old Jacksonville resident paid his debt to society more than two decades ago, he thought the conviction meant he'd never again be able to cast a ballot.
"I walked around with my head down, thinking I can't vote," Russell said. "Come to find out, it's a totally different story."
Gov. Charlie Crist ordered last year that the state's process for restoring a felon's civil rights be streamlined.
The Florida Board of Executive Clemency rule change gave basic civil rights back to disenfranchised nonviolent offenders who have served their time and paid restitution.
That means at least 115,000 people can vote this year for the first time since being convicted.
"I can voice my opinion now," Russell said, "instead of being pushed back in a corner."
STARTING WITH A LONG LIST
Crist announced the …
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Publication information: Article title: FELONS' CIVIL RIGHTS; Seeking Thousands Who Can Vote Anew Crist Edict Prompts Efforts to Notify Ex-Offenders. Contributors: Bradner, Eric - Author. Newspaper title: The Florida Times Union. Publication date: August 1, 2008. Page number: Not available. © 2007 The Florida Times-Union. COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale Group.
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