Clergy call for Gov. Scott to restore voting rights

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A group of clergy and activists will lead a march through Opa-Locka on Sunday to highlight Florida’s status as one of three states that permanently deny ex-offenders the right to vote unless restored by the governor or a clemency board.

Scott and the Republican-led Cabinet undid automatic restoration of rights for nonviolent ex-felons and tightened rules in 2011. They said offenders should have to demonstrate they can live crime-free.

But religious leaders and civil liberties activists say Florida’s rules are the most restrictive in the nation and effectively suppress the minority vote. Organizers of Sunday’s march say the state has the highest disenfranchisement rate in the country.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.