Could a proposed Florida bill restrict your rights?

Investigations

In recent years, Florida voters have legalized medical marijuana and restored voting rights to felons but could that power change?  8 On Your Side investigates whether a proposed Florida bill would restrict your rights. 

“Where you have a flawed commission structure that incentives bad behavior, you’re going to get more bad behavior,” said State Representative James Grant.

Earlier this month, Representative Grant told 8 On Your Side he wants to change the referendum process and it make less susceptible to fraud.

“There’s some people in our legislature that hate the fact that Amendment 4 passed,” said Desmond Meade, the President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. 

Meade’s organization spearheaded Amendment 4.  He said it took four years, hundreds of volunteers and a lot of hurdles.

“We only have a limited shelf life on petitions,” he said.

8 On Your Side asked Meade about some of the proposed changes.

“What would be the impact of only allowing a petition circulator to be a Florida resident?” asked investigative reporter Mahsa Saeidi.

Meade responded, “it would have a chilling impact on the citizen’s initiative process.”

Representative Grant also wants to prohibit compensation based on the number of signatures gathered.

Meade says the changes take away incentive and complicate the process.

The Florida Department of State investigates fraud in the process.

8 On Your Side has requested copies of election fraud complaints for the past two years.

Representative Grant said he has not looked into specific instances of fraud in the system. 

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