‘Donald Trump better get ready. Republicans better get ready…’
(Langston Taylor, Tampa Bay Times) John Young slapped the sticker on his chest with pride.
The retired postal service worker, 25 years after a drug conviction, had just registered to vote at the Supervisor of Elections, just a block from the county jail.
“Almost 25 years and I couldn’t vote. What kinda junk is that?” Young asked.
It was ridiculous to him that he could work a government job for years, even get a medical marijuana card, and not vote.
Tuesday marked the first day that Amendment 4 allowed Floridians like Young to register to vote after completing the terms of a felony sentence, without going through the state’s clemency board.
The ballot initiative, which passed in Florida with nearly 65 percent, was spearheaded by the state chapter of Faith in Action, an activist group, formerly known as PICO, that maintains deep financial ties with George Soros‘ Open Societies Foundations. The American Civil Liberties Union and other liberal organizations joined in supporting the effort.
The ballot initiative applies to all felons who were not convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense after fully completing their sentence.
Ballotopedia said an estimated 1.6 million people—more than 10 percent of the state’s voting-age population—were previously ineligible due to felony convictions.
Young said he used to be a Republican but registered Tuesday as a Democrat, believing his old party turned his back on him.
“Ron DeSantis better get ready,” Young said of Florida’s new Republican governor. “Donald Trump better get ready. Republicans better get ready. And a lot of Democrats better get ready,” Young said.
Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.
(c)2019 Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.