Rights Restoration

Partnering with Second Chances Florida, the Roosevelt Institute seeks to restore the right to vote to millions of voters with a past criminal record.

Florida has more than 1.5 million voters who are unable to vote because of a past felony conviction. In 2011, Florida became the fourth state in the country to have a lifetime ban on voting with executive clemency being the only way to restore voting rights.

Roosevelt supports a fair and inclusive political system that allows for full and varied participation of citizens. By restoring the right to vote, we are giving Floridians the opportunity for redemption and a chance to reenter society as civically engaged community members.

“We have over 6.1 million Americans nationally who are unable to exercise their constitutional right to vote” Roosevelt summer fellow Carl Amritt remarks as he works in Florida to give people with criminal records more access to voting.

Working with college campuses and community organizations across the state, Roosevelt is committed to raising awareness about voter disenfranchisement and collecting petitions for a ballot initiative to amend Florida’s constitution to allow millions of Floridians to vote by the 2020 General Election.

For more information about Rights Restoration, check out these pieces in Think ProgressMiami Herald, Sun Sentinel, Palm Beach Postand Aljazeera America




African Americans are disenfranchised from voting


Whether people agree or disagree with me, I still have the right as an American citizen to be heard both publicly and in the voting the booth.



Required to have initiative on the ballot


I feel like I’m on the fringe of society as a citizen that doesn’t have an active participation in it. You’re just there, observing. You have no opportunity to affect change.


5.85 M

Americans are prohibited because of a past felony conviction


It’s like I’m racing a clock and they’re [government] just removing anyone’s ability to even own a firearm. I feel very uncertain that I will ever have the ability to protect myself.