Home – Banner Year for Voting Rights Ballot Measures

Banner Year for Voting Rights Ballot Measures

In November voters in Arkansas and North Carolina, two states where voter ID laws have been struck down by the courts, will decide whether such requirements will be enshrined into their respective constitutions. And voters in Montana will decide whether to make it a crime for anyone other than a mail carrier or other authorized person to collect and submit ballots cast by others.


Maryland voters, meanwhile, will consider a referendum that would allow residents to register to vote through Election Day. A measure on the ballot in Nevada could make that state the 14th to implement automatic voter registration. And a ballot measure in Michigan would not only institute automatic voter registration there but also allow residents to vote absentee for any reason and register on Election Day.


But the ballot measure that appears to be drawing the most attention is Florida’s Amendment 4, which would restore voting rights to former felons not convicted of murder or sex crimes. The state is one of only three that doesn’t reinstate voting privileges for felons unless they have received pardons or clemency. Approval of the ballot measure would make 1.4 million more people in the state eligible to vote.


As a constitutional amendment, the measure needs to be approved by 60 percent of the state’s voters to pass. Recent polling indicates the measure has over 70 percent support.


“I’m almost hesitant to say that we have not seen a lot of opposition,” said Nancy Abudu, legal director for the ACLU of Florida, one of the measure’s principal backers. “I don't want to jinx it.” (GOVERNING, FLORIDA POLITICS, BALLOTPEDIA)