Voting rights of Florida felons to be restored under proposed amendment

Last Updated: Friday, April 21, 2017, 10:23 AM EDT

Voting rights may soon be automatically restored for felons in Florida once they complete their sentences.

The Florida Supreme Court just signed off on a proposed ballot initiative that would apply to most felons.

The proposed amendment would undo a policy change by Attorney General Pam Bondi and Governor Rick Scott put in place in 2011 that requires most convicted felons to wait five years after prison before they can file a clemency petition to regain voting rights.

The court ruled for the initiative to be put on the 2018 ballot for voters to decide, but the group proposing the ballot initiative still needs to gather nearly 700,000 voter signatures for that to happen.

If the amendment makes the ballot and at least 60 percent of voters approve, felons would have their voting rights restored once the finish their sentences, including probation or parole.

People who commit murder or felony sexual offenses wouldn't be eligible for automatic voting rights restoration.