Archive for Thursday, March 15, 2001

Florida voting rights suit filed

March 15, 2001

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— Black lawmakers and advocates of former felons sued the Department of Corrections on Wednesday, saying it fails to help them get their voting rights restored.

Florida law requires the department to help felons complete the complicated application to have their civil rights restored.

"The Department of Corrections is required to do this. The Department of Corrections does not do this," said state Sen. Daryl Jones. The Clemency Board, which is composed of the governor and Cabinet, can restore an ex-felon's civil rights if the former felon asks.

The detailed forms and copies of documents are difficult for offenders to compile, said Charles Elsesser, the Florida Legal Services attorney who filed the lawsuit. The American Civil Liberties Union also was part of the group filing suit. A Florida corrections official said it follows the law.

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