LPF Recommends Approval of Ballot Amendment 4, the Voting Restoration Amendment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 23, 2018

Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

 

MIAMI – The Libertarian Party of Florida recommends YES of the following Amendment:

Amendment 4 – This amendment restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who would continue to be permanently barred from voting unless the Governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting rights on a case by case basis.

 

Libertarian Party of Florida Platform

PREAMBLE
Libertarians seek a society based on personal liberty and responsibility—a society in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives. This most desirable method of organizing society is the natural order that arises when the unalienable rights of individuals to life, liberty and property ownership are respected and protected.

People have the right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and pursue happiness in whatever manner they choose so long as they do not forcibly or fraudulently interfere with the equal rights of others. Libertarians welcome the peace, prosperity, and diversity that freedom brings.

IV. PUBLIC SAFETY
(2.) State prison facilities should be used only for the incarceration of individuals who have proven themselves a threat to others.

V. VICE LAWS
(1.) Government should confine itself to protecting individuals from aggression, coercion and deceit. We oppose all laws and regulations that attempt to protect individuals from the consequences of their own behavior. While not necessarily condoning such activities, we advocate the repeal of all laws criminalizing gambling, possession and sale of drugs, and sexual relations between consenting adults. All those presently incarcerated or ever convicted solely for the commission of these victimless crimes should be pardoned and their records expunged.

Discussion

The LPF Executive Committee strongly believes we are individuals, sovereign over our own lives and not subjects of the state. This endorsement of Amendment 4 fully embraces those who “paid their debt to society” by successfully completing any criminal adjudication made against them. In short, once someone completes their sentence, including any parole and restitution, they must be allowed to resume participation as fully free citizens: free of any legal restraint, social bias or systemic strings.

Most Floridians agree with our recommendation. Recent polls suggest nearly three quarters of potential voters will support Amendment 4. This is an increase from May, when just over 60 percent of Florida voters supported the proposal. A minimum of 60 percent approval is required for Amendment 4 to pass.

We don’t believe many felons, current and former, should have been convicted at all. The LPF opposes a system that incriminates non-violent actions involving one or more individuals. We do believe if someone feels wronged, either personally or financially, they have every right to pursue civil redress. These are decisions to be made among responsible individuals, not the state.

Restoring voting rights is really just one step to grant former felons the opportunity to return as fully active members in their community. Everyone deserves the opportunity to live and work anywhere without bias and discrimination. We must assure there are no obstacles to former felons becoming law-abiding citizens. This includes abolishing any laws requiring ex-convicts to declare their conviction history on job applications, residency, etc.

Amendment 4 would grant former felons the opportunity to serve as advocates of their own interests. They can expose areas needing reform in our criminal justice system and with their vote, join us all in correcting them.

We look forward to the day when all individuals are free to pursue their own self-interest without violating the freedom of one another. Amendment 4 is but one step in that direction.

  • By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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