Former Florida felon turned activist granted more civil rights, says the fight isn’t over

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 10:41 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2021 at 9:20 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -A face seen on the frontlines in the multi-year effort to give former Florida felons the right to vote has another reason to celebrate.

Desmond Meade announced on Twitter over the weekend that more of his civil rights have been restored. He now can run for office, serve on a jury, and even take the Florida Bar.

“Perseverance pays off, and I think if nothing else, my story can be example to so many others,” Meade told WCTV Monday.

Meade said he’s been working to restore his rights for over a decade. He said he had an opportunity early on to gain them back, but wanted to work until there was a way to allow thousands of others to reach that goal at the same time.

It came earlier this year when the DeSantis administration tweaked policy allowing felons who were already able to vote to get a fast-track to approval.

He said this step was a big one, but not the last one.

“How can we get rid of a lot of the bureaucratic process and save taxpayer dollars by creating a streamlined system that helps these processes move more quickly than they’re moving now,” he said.

Meade said there’s still plenty of work to do despite some progress since the 2018 approval of Amendment Four in 2018 that gave felons the right to vote.

“We’re going to continue pressing forward, because we know the work we’re doing for returning citizens is the work we’re doing for all floridians,” he said.

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