Amendment 4 and Clemency
What is Amendment 4?
The Voting Restoration Amendment was the fourth proposed Constitutional Amendment on the 2018 General Election ballot. This amendment started as a citizen initiative which made ballot position through the collection of over 842,000 petition signatures. The amendment passed with 64.55% of the vote and will now be part of Florida’s Constitution with an effective date of January 8, 2019.
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.
How do I know if my voting rights have been restored?
It is the voter’s responsibility to confirm whether or not their voting rights have been automatically restored. Search or apply for your Restoration of Civil Rights certificate through the Florida Commission on Offender Review, Office of Executive Clemency. Contact information for the Office of Executive Clemency is listed at the bottom of this page.
The agencies listed below also have resources or records to assist you.
Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller in the county where sentenced. In Okeechobee County, call 863-763-2131 or visit online: http://www.clerk.co.okeechobee.fl.us/.
Florida Department of Corrections where supervised or incarcerated. Call 850-488-5021 or visit online: www.dc.state.fl.us.
What does this mean for convicted felons who were previously deemed ineligible to register to vote?
Starting on January 8, 2019, certain convicted felons that have completed their sentences, including parole and probation, will have their voting rights automatically restored and will be eligible to register to vote. Exception: Felons convicted of murder or sexual offenses are not eligible to register and vote unless the Governor’s Clemency Review Board restores their voting rights.
How will the Supervisor of Elections handle voter registration application now with Amendment 4?
The Okeechobee County Supervisor of Elections office will accept and process voter registration applications as usual. Applications will be accepted from individuals with prior felony convictions who are newly eligible to register pursuant to the terms of Amendment 4. Voters who have previously been removed from the voter rolls due to a felony conviction must re-register to vote starting January 8, 2019.
My voting rights have been restored. Do I need to do anything before I can vote?
Yes. You must register to vote before you can participate in any election. State law requires all voters to be registered at least 29 days prior to Election Day. You may register:
- At the Supervisor of Elections Office.
- At a voter registration agency.
- By mail (download, complete, and print the Florida Voter Registration Application - ENGLISH SPANISH).
- Online by using Florida's Online Voter Registration System (requires a Florida Driver's License or Florida ID Card).
Please Note: The Okeechobee County Supervisor of Elections advises any convicted felon who wishes to register to vote to verify that they have fulfilled their court ordered sentencing obligations BEFORE registering to vote.
If I was removed from the voter rolls due to a felony conviction, will I automatically be re-registered to vote now?
No. If a voter’s name has been removed from the voting rolls due to a felony conviction, the individual must re-register to vote. Please note that our office will not be contacting individuals regarding this issue. Help us to spread the word by sharing this information and encourage your friends and family to contact the Supervisor of Elections office in their county of residence.
I registered to vote - what happens now?
You should receive a new Voter Information Card from our office within a few weeks of registering. If you don’t receive this, please contact our office to make sure we have your correct address. After registering, voters must keep their registration up to date. Voters can update their address and other information any time using either the "Register or Update Record" or "My Voter Info" tab or by calling or visiting the office at 304 NW 2nd Street, Rm #144 (Historic Courthouse), Okeechobee, FL 34972.
Office of Executive Clemency
Under the Florida Constitution, certain convicted felons cannot vote, serve on a jury, or hold public office until civil rights have been restored. If you have been convicted of a felony and wish to have your civil rights restored, you must submit an application to the Office of Executive Clemency.
Contact the Office of Executive Clemency
4070 Esplanade Way
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Toll Free: 1-800-435-8286