Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Persons Convicted of a Felony
Does a felony conviction affect the right to vote in Florida?
A person who has been convicted of a felony is not eligible to vote in Florida unless they have had their civil rights restored. Once their civil rights have been restored, they can register to vote. (F.S. 97.041, 97.051, 101.045)
What about Amendment 4 and automatic restoration of rights?
In the 2018 General Election, Florida voters approved Amendment 4 to the Florida Constitution, effective January 8, 2019. The ballot summary stated: “This amendment restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who would continue to be permanently barred from voting unless the Governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting rights on a case by case basis.”
What is the process to determine a voter’s status as it relates to a felony conviction?
The Florida Dept. of State or Clerk of Court notifies the Supervisor of a voter’s potential ineligibility
Within seven (7) days of receipt of the information packet, the Supervisor of Elections sends the following items to the voter:
The basis for ineligibility
A copy of documentation indicating potential ineligibility
Notification that failure of the voter to respond within (30) days may result in the voter becoming ineligible to vote
A return form for the voter to confirm or deny the provided information
Notification of the voter’s right to an administrative hearing with the Supervisor of Elections
Notification to contact the Supervisor of Elections for assistance, if needed
If the voter responds to the notification from the Supervisor of Elections:
If the voter agrees with the accuracy of the information provided by the Supervisor of Elections, the voter’s registration record is removed from the active roll to the ineligible roll.
If the voter disagrees with the accuracy of the information provided by the Supervisor of Elections,
The voter can request an administrative hearing with the Supervisor of Elections to review the information and determine the voter’s eligibility.
If, after 30 days, the voter does not request a hearing, the Supervisor of Elections will review the information and if the voter is determined to be ineligible, he/she will be removed from the active roll and placed on the ineligible roll.
If the notice sent from the Supervisor of Elections is returned as undeliverable, the Supervisor of Elections will publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation
If, within thirty (30) days, there is no response to the newspaper notice, the voter will be removed from the active roll and placed on the ineligible roll.
What is required to have my civil rights restored?
There are several conditions that must be met before a person’s civil rights can be restored. See also the previous question and answer regarding Amendment 4. Here are a couple of links for more information:
I have been convicted of a felony, but my name has not yet be removed from the active voter roll. Can I still vote?
No. If you have been convicted of a felony, you are not eligible to vote even if your name still appears on the active roll unless and until your voting rights have been restored.
If I have been convicted of a misdemeanor, are my voting rights affected?
No. Only a felony conviction affects civil rights and voting. (F.S. 97.041)
If I am on probation, may I vote in Florida?
Felony probation must be completed before civil rights may be restored. Once your civil rights are restored, you must register to vote by the deadline in order to vote in Florida. (Rules 6, 9, 10A and 10B, rules of Executive Clemency, State of Florida)
If I have been arrested and am awaiting trial, may I vote?
If not yet convicted of a felony and otherwise eligible to vote and registered to vote in Florida, then yes you may vote in Florida. (F.S.97.041 (5))
If my rights have been restored, do I need to bring my certificate when I register to vote?
No. If your rights have been restored, you do not need to present your certificate for voter registration. Just fill out the Florida Voter Registration Application completely and return it to the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Office by the deadline. If you have any questions about the form, please contact our office by phone at (850) 595-3900, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Fax at (850) 595-3914. (F.S. 97.041, 97.051 and 97.053(2))
If my voting rights have been restored, what do I do next so that I may vote?
In order to vote, you must register to vote in Florida by the deadline. To register to vote, complete a Florida Registration Application. For complete information, visit our Register to Vote page.
When is the deadline to register to vote?
The registration deadline is twenty-nine (29) days before an election.