Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Launches Election Integrity Campaign in Response to Voter Fraud Arrests in Florida

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Desmond Meade and Neil Volz, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
Desmond Meade and Neil Volz of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, remain at the forefront of the fight to secure voting rights for ex-felons throughout the state.
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ORLANDO, FLMay 5, 2022 On Friday, May 6, 2022 the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) will hold a news conference to address the recent voter fraud arrests in Florida. In recent weeks, several returning citizens in the state have been charged or arrested after being registered by their local supervisor of elections.

Photo of Desmond Meade
Desmond Meade, Executive Director, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition

FRRC led Amendment 4, the constitutional amendment campaign that restored voting rights for 1.4 million people with felony convictions in Florida back in 2018.  FRRC wants to ensure that those 1.4 million Floridians get to take advantage of that right.  “Any citizen who wants to participate in democracy, and genuinely believes that they are eligible should not be punished because the state does not do their job,” says Executive Director Desmond Meade

Unfortunately, the state’s confusing voter system for returning citizens (formerly convicted persons) has impacted the most vulnerable voters in the system. Currently, the state has no statewide database or one-stop system in place to give returning citizens assurances about their voting eligibility and/or flag those who attempt to register to vote by mistake before penalties are handed down.

Photo of Florida Rights Resoratio'n Coalition's Neil Voltz
Neil Volz, Deputy Director, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition

“If citizens of this state cannot rely on its government to make a determination of eligibility before the fact, who can they rely on?” asks Deputy Director Neil Volz.  

FRRC is committed to:

  • Continue to serve as a resource for returning citizens in the state that are having challenges participating in the election process.
  • Advocate for a statewide database that would create a more efficient way to determine voting eligibility for Florida’s returning citizens, and better manage state resources. 
  • Build off of our already existing “Fines and Fees Assistance Program” to create a working group of attorneys and professionals to assist in immediately providing determinations of voting eligibility for returning citizens. 

The FRRC led the constitutional amendment campaign that restored voting rights for 1.4 million people in Florida back in 2018.  After Amendment 4 was passed, lawmakers passed a bill circumventing the restoration process by requiring returning citizens to pay their court costs and restitution before being eligible to vote. It is the by-product of this obligation that has caused much of the recent controversy. The state’s failure to create a statewide voter verification database that provides voting eligibility has also caused considerable confusion.   

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FRRC is a grassroots, membership organization run primarily by returning citizens (formerly convicted persons) who are dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions and creating a more comprehensive and humane reentry system that will enhance successful reentry, reduce recidivism, and increase public safety. For more information, visit https://floridarrc.com/.

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