Voter empowerment events are scheduled for Orland, Eatonville and Tampa on this coming Monday and Tuesday, July 25th & 26th, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011 at 9:00 AM
Life Center Church
New Covenant Baptist Church
2210 S. Rio Grande Ave Orlando, FL
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 2:00 PM
34th Street Church of God
Rev. Jackson and a diverse coalition of civil and human rights organizations, voting rights advocates, labor organizations and elected officials are making a clarion call for the U.S. Department Justice to intervene on the destructive pattern of voter suppression legislation being introduced across the country.
Earlier this year Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law legislation that will make it more difficult for students, seniors and minority residents to register, vote, and then have their ballots counted.
The law now forces more Florida residents to cast provisional ballots which are not likely to be counted, limits the number of days Floridians have access to the polls--cutting early voting days from 14 day to eight days and eliminating early voting on the Sunday before Election Day--and has effectively shut down the volunteer voting registration work of organizations like the League of Women Voters and the Boy Scouts.
“Governors and legislators in 38 states are engaged in a radical rollback of our civil and voting rights,” said Rev. Jackson. “Proponents of voter ID laws have long claimed that such restrictions are necessary in order to protect against phantom voter fraud schemes. Reality has never been an underpinning of these arguments. They want to replace the program of voter ‘expansion’ with voter ‘suppression’ and place onerous restrictions and limits on our democracy.
Also facing a tough time in Florida are persons with past felony convictions who lose the right to vote, serve on a jury, and hold public office. Florida is one of only three states with a constitution that permanently disfranchises people with past felony convictions. The power to restore civil rights is vested in the sole discretion of the Governor and the Cabinet sitting as the Board of Executive Clemency.
In March 2011, the Board of Executive Clemency revised the Rules of Executive Clemency. Under these new rules, there are now two categories of approval with mandatory waiting periods for restoration of civil rights depending on the nature of the felony conviction.