Under Florida law, individuals convicted of felonies lose their right to vote, at least temporarily. (Some felons are eligible to have their vote restored upon release from prison.) Yet while many felons in Florida are ineligible to vote, they remain on the rolls, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
More than 30,000 Florida felons who by law should have been stripped of their right to vote remain registered to cast ballots in this presidential battleground state, a Sun Sentinel investigation has found.
Many are faithful voters, with at least 4,900 turning out in past elections.
Another 5,600 are not likely to vote Nov. 4 — they're still in prison.
Of the felons who registered with a party, Democrats outnumber Republicans more than two to one.
Florida's elections chief, Secretary of State Kurt Browning, acknowledged his staff has failed to remove thousands of ineligible felons because of a shortage of workers and a crush of new registrations in this critical swing state.
Browning said he was not surprised by the newspaper's findings. "I'm kind of shocked that the number is as low as it is," he said.
Asked how many ineligible felons may be on Florida's rolls, Browning said, "We don't know."
Whether or not felony disenfranchisement is a good idea -- some would even argue that it is unconstitutional -- it seems problematic that thousands of legally ineligible voters remain on the rolls and that a not-insignificant portion of these voters appear to cast votes. Florida also seems to have a problem with double voting, particularly by seasonal residents. Let's hope the election results in Florida are not particularly close.