In a landmark vote last election, Florida voters approved to give most felons their right to vote back.
In November, 64.6 percent voted for Amendment 4, according to Florida Election Watch.
It will be put into effect Tuesday, restoring the rights of felons who completed their sentencing, excluding those convicted of murder or felony sexual offenses, said TJ Pyche, the director of outreach for the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office.
About 1.4 million felons will have their rights restored, Pyche said. The elections office estimates that about 10,000 people in the county will be affected by the new law.
On March 19, those who register by Feb. 19, the registration deadline, will be able to vote for mayor and District Four city commissioner in the city regular election.
On Feb. 4 at 6 p.m., a workshop for new voters will be held at the elections office, at 515 N. Main St., to inform them about what to expect, such as where to go and what will be on the ballot, Pyche said.
“The whole idea is to show people that the voting process isn’t difficult,” Pyche said. “It’s for people who have never voted or haven’t voted in a very long time.”
The elections office will partner with community organizations, like the League of Women Voters of Alachua County, to raise awareness of the new law.
Carole Fernandez, 66, advocated for Amendment 4 as the president of the league. Now she’s working to make sure it’s properly implemented, she said.
“We want people to know what they need to register,” Fernandez said. “[Felons] don’t need a piece of paper or anything like that. They are just responsible to know if they have completed their sentencing.”
The application to register asks new voters if they’ve been convicted of a felony and if they’ve had their rights restored, Fernandez said.
The voter is also responsible for knowing if they have paid any fees or restitutions, Pyche said.
He said that it is then up to the state to check whether the applicant qualifies to vote.
Those planning to register can verify that they’ve completed their sentencing with the clerk of the court in the county they were convicted in.
The elections office will remain open until 7 p.m., two hours later than its regular closing, on Tuesday to encourage people who will be newly eligible to register in person.