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Ft. Myers City Council endorses Amendments 4 and 6

Posted: 11:56 PM, Oct 15, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-16 03:56:18Z

The Ft. Myers City Council throwing it's support behind an amendment restoring the voting rights of felons once they've served their time.

Florida, Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia are the only other states that prevent people from voting, once they've served their time.

60 percent of those voting in next month's election would have to say "yes" in order for Florida to be off that list.

"This is something that I feel if a person has served their time, that they should be given back their rights to vote,” said Councilwoman Teresa-Watkins Brown.

Brown pushed for the resolution after working with the Florida League of Cities on criminal justice reform.

Mayor Randy Henderson says if an ex-felon feels empowered to participate in the political process, he or she may be inclined to become a better citizen in other areas of their lives.

"This is consistent with the criminal justice reform, that the city, law enforcement and universities around the country are supporting."

The amendment does not restore voting rights for individuals convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.

Council also voted to support Amendment 6, which extends legal rights to crime victims and raises the mandatory retirement age of state judges.