Florida Most Florida felons will regain voting and other civil rights more quickly after completing their sentences under changes approved Thursday by the governor and the state clemency board.
Republican Gov. Charlie Crist pushed the change, saying the rights to vote, hold office and serve on a jury were fundamental to being part of a democratic society.
With a 3-1 vote by Crist and the other members of the state's clemency board, state officials will begin the restoration process for felons once they complete their sentences. Previously, many felons needed to go before the board, which can take years to hear a case because of backlogs.
The change doesn't include the right to have a gun, which still isn't restored automatically for people with felony convictions.