Florida amendment allowing felons to vote passes with help from Jewish groups
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Florida amendment allowing felons to vote passes with help from Jewish groups

Change to state constitution enfranchises some 1.4 million prisoners, likely a boost to Democrats in the swing state

Illustrative image of a prisoner behind bars. (sakhorn38/iStock via Getty images)
Illustrative image of a prisoner behind bars. (sakhorn38/iStock via Getty images)

WASHINGTON — An amendment to Florida’s constitution that would restore voting rights for felons passed Tuesday with the help of Jewish groups that campaigned for the measure.

Amendment 4 won 64 percent of the vote, passing the needed 60% threshold for passage.

A number of Florida branches of Jewish groups, including the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, the Anti-Defamation League, the National Council of Jewish Women and Join for Justice, campaigned for the amendment, which excludes felons convicted of murder and sex crimes.

Florida, long a swing state, could go more decidedly Democratic: Minorities, who form a substantial portion of the 1.4 million newly enfranchised voters, tend to vote for Democrats.

“‘Kol hakavod’ to the Reform Jewish communities in Florida — and across the US — who organized and mobilized to make this happen,” the movement’s Religious Action Center said on Twitter, using the Hebrew term for “well done.”

“This is huge. 1.4 million Floridians will have their voting rights restored.”

A number of major Jewish philanthropists contributed to the campaign, including George Soros, Seth Klarman and Stacy Schusterman.

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