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Restoration of Civil Rights

The Clerk of the Circuit Court provides a list of persons that have been convicted of a felony or a case file of a convicted felon is provided by the Department of State.  F.S. 98.075(5)

In either case a letter of notification is sent to the individual if he or she is registered to vote.  The letter explains how to obtain the restoration of civil rights as well as an affirmation to deny or appeal the information that was obtained.  Once the letter is mailed to the individual, the individual has 30 days to respond by telephone or by signed returned affirmation.  If no contact is attempted by the individual, the name and last known address of the individual is published in the local newspaper.  The individual has 30 days to respond to the Supervisor of Elections.  If no response is made from the individual from the published newspaper notice, the person is removed from the voter registration books. F.S. 98.075(7)

If a voter is removed due to a felony conviction and they would like to restore their voting rights they may contact the Office of Executive Clemency at 850-488-2952.

If a voter believes that he/she has been removed from the voter registration books in error, he/she may contact the Supervisor of Elections office at (904)269-6350.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

I was convicted of a misdemeanor. Am I still eligible to vote? 

Yes. Only those charges that are adjudicated guilty as a felony would disallow a person from voting.  

 

I was convicted of a felony charge, but I was put on probation and have not received clemency. Am I able to vote or apply to vote?

No, you must first apply for and receive clemency. A person's civil rights cannot be restored until all sentences or supervision periods have been completed; all restitution owed to current or prior victim(s) is paid in full (this includes judgments or liens); there are no pending criminal charges, warrants, or detainers; and established waiting periods have been met pursuant to Chapter 940, Florida Statutes (Rules of Executive Clemency).

 

What rights are restored? 

The basic civil rights that are restored are:  the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury, and the right to hold public office.  The right to own, possess, or use firearms requires a waiting period of eight years from the date your sentence expired or supervision terminated.

 

How can I apply for Clemency (including civil rights)? 

All persons seeking clemency, including the restoration of civil rights, must complete an application and submit it to the Office of Executive Clemency. Application forms are furnished on the Florida Commission on Offender Review Website. All applications for Clemency must be filed with the Coordinator on the form provided and include the required court documents.

 

I applied for clemency, but my application was denied. Can I reapply? 

“Any otherwise eligible person who has been granted clemency or denied any form of executive clemency may not reapply for further executive clemency for at least two years from the date that such action became final” (Rules of Executive Clemency).

 

I was convicted of a felony in another state or in Federal court and did not apply for clemency, but am now residing in Florida; can I apply for clemency in the State of Florida?

“If the person has been convicted in a court other than a court of the State of Florida, a request for restoration of civil rights or alien status under Florida law must be submitted in accordance with the Rule 6.  Such request shall be reviewed by the Florida Parole Commission to determine if the requirements under Rule 10(A) are met.  If the Commission certifies that all of the requirements in Rule 10(A) are met, the Coordinator shall follow the procedures for the restoration of civil rights or alien status without a hearing as enumerated herein”.  Additionally, “he or she must be a legal resident of the State of Florida at the time the application is filed, considered or acted upon”  (Rules of Executive Clemency).  Please visit the Florida Commission on Offender Review Website for more information regarding the Rules.

 

I received my Certificate of Civil Rights Restoration and now want to register to vote; do I need to provide a copy of the Certificate of Civil Rights Restoration along with my application for voter registration?  

No. In order to register to vote, a person need only check the appropriate box on the voter registration application indicating that he or she is not a convicted felon, or has had his or  her rights restored.

 

How do I check the status of my civil rights restoration paperwork? 

To check the status of restoration of civil rights, you may visit the Florida Commission on Offender Review Website.

Who is on the Clemency Board?

The Governor and members of the Cabinet collectively make up the Clemency Board. 

 

Where can I find more information on Clemency?

Additional information may be found at the Florida Commission on Offender Review Website .