UNF poll shows Floridians support Amendment 4 to restore voting rights to those with felony records

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A Florida constitutional amendment that would automatically restore voting rights for people who have a felony record has enough support to pass this November, according to a new poll released on Monday.

Amendment 4 is supported by 71 percent of likely voters, according to the survey conducted by the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida. Only 22 percent of those polled oppose the measure, and 8 percent said they don’t know yet how they will vote on the measure.

The poll of 616 likely Florida voters was conducted between September 17-19, with a margin of error of 3.95 points.

The poll shows support for the measure across the board, with 83 percent of Democrats supporting Amendment 4, and only 10 percent opposed. Among Republicans, 62 percent are in favor and 31 percent opposed.

And on the issue of race, the poll shows 82 percent of blacks, 69 percent of whites and 65 percent of Hispanic voters say they will vote for the measure.

“These results reflect the status of African-Americans as the population most directly affected by the Florida’s felon disenfranchisement laws,” said Dr. Natasha Christie, chair of the Dept. of Political Science and Public Administration at UNF. “With such a large majority of likely voters saying they would vote ‘yes’ on Amendment 4, this indicates views on this issue are becoming more progressive overall throughout the state, regardless of race.”

The UNF survey on Amendment 4 is the first major poll that has been conducted in several months.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce released a poll in late May that showed the measure well below the 60 percent margin needed to pass. A poll conducted by North Star Opinion Research and EMC Research earlier this summer showed the voting rights restoration measure winning with more than 70 percent support.

Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry has spent the past 18 years covering news and politics in the Sunshine State, most recently with FloridaPolitics.com. He worked for five years as the political editor of Creative Loafing in Tampa, and before that he was the assistant news director at WMNF radio, where he served as creator/anchor/producer of the hour-long WMNF Evening News. A San Francisco native, Mitch began his career at KPFA Radio in Berkeley in the 1990's.

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