Information for Amendment 4, Voting Rights Restoration for Felons
On July 1, 2020, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta issued a stay order of prior court rulings; pending appellate resolution, both Amendment 4 and § 98.0751, Fla. Stat., Remain Current Law.
In November 2018, Florida voters adopted an amendment to the Florida constitution known as “Amendment 4.” That Amendment provided that former felons, except for those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense, would have their eligibility to register and vote restored if they had completed all terms of their sentence, including prison, probation, and parole. On May 24, 2020, a federal judge entered an order that ruled unconstitutional those restrictions on federal eligibility for returning felons based upon unpaid fees, fines, or restitution, if the former felon could not pay those amounts. The Governor appealed that order, and on July 1, 2020, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta issued a stay order.
While the Supervisor of Elections cannot provide legal advice, the following information is derived from the language of Amendment 4 and § 98.0751, Florida Statutes:
For all former felons – except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense – who have completed all prison, probation, or parole terms of their sentence:
- If you no longer owe money, you are eligible to register and vote.
- If you have paid all fines, fees, and restitution, as ordered by the Court, even if costs or post-judgment fees remain, you are eligible to register and vote.
- Inability to pay, pending subsequent Court opinions, does not presently provide an exception. If you have completed community service in lieu of your remaining payment, however, you are eligible to register and vote.
- If you do not know whether or not these categories apply to you, you may request an advisory opinion from the State Division of Elections. Please refer to § 106.23(2), Fla. Stat., and the Division of Elections Website for additional information.
We will update this information once a ruling from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals is received and becomes final.
Effective May 24, 2020 - Revision July 2, 2020