Restoration of Voting Rights - General Information

Felony Conviction Affects the Right to Vote in Florida (Sections 97.041 and 97.053, 97.055, Florida Statutes)

A person convicted of a felony is not eligible to vote in Florida unless his or her voting rights have been restored. To vote in Florida, a person who has been convicted of a felony must:

  • have his or her voting rights restored, and
  • register to vote in Florida by the book closing deadline.

Following a Felony Conviction (Section 98.075 (5 – 7), Florida Statutes)

Upon receipt of information from the Florida Department of State about the potential ineligibility of a voter to be registered, the Sarasota County supervisor of elections takes the following steps:

Within seven (7) days of receiving notice from the Department of State, the supervisor will notify the voter of his or her potential ineligibility. The notice shall include the following:

  1. A statement of the basis of potential ineligibility and a copy of any documentation upon which the determination is based.
  2. Statement that failure of voter to respond within thirty (30) days after receipt of notice may result in determination of ineligibility and in the changing of voter’s status from eligible to ineligible.
  3. A return form for the voter to admit or deny the accuracy of the basis of potential ineligibility.
  4. Statement that the voter has the right to request a hearing with the supervisor of elections where the voter is registered.
  5. Instructions for the voter to contact the supervisor of elections if assistance is needed. 
  6. Instructions for seeking restoration of civil rights following a felony conviction, if applicable.

Voter Fails to Respond

If the voter fails to respond to the notice, the supervisor shall make a final determination of the voter’s eligibility. If the supervisor determines the voter is ineligible, the supervisor shall:

  1. remove the voter’s name from the statewide voter registration system, and
  2. notify the voter of the determination and action.

Voter Admits Accuracy of Information

If the voter responds and admits the accuracy of the information provided by the Department of State, the supervisor shall:

  1. determine the voter ineligible to vote,
  2. remove the voter’s name from the statewide voter registration system, and
  3. notify the voter of the determination and action taken.

Voter Denies Accuracy of Information

If the voter denies the accuracy of the information regarding potential ineligibility but does not request a hearing, the supervisor shall:

  1. review the evidence regarding the voter’s potential ineligibility, and
  2. make a determination regarding the eligibility of the voter.

If the voter is determined eligible, the supervisor will notify the voter of the determination.

If the voter is determined ineligible, the supervisor shall:

  1. remove the voter’s name from the statewide voter registration system, and
  2. notify the voter of the determination and action taken.

If the voter denies the accuracy of the information regarding potential ineligibility and does request a hearing, the supervisor shall send a notice to the voter to attend a hearing at a time and place specified in the notice.

Upon hearing all evidence presented at the hearing, the supervisor makes a determination of eligibility.

If a voter is determined eligible, the supervisor shall notify the voter of the determination.

If a voter is determined ineligible, the supervisor shall:

  1. notify the voter of the determination, and
  2. remove the voter’s name from the statewide voter registration system.

Notice Returned as Undeliverable

If the notice is returned by the post office as undeliverable, the supervisor shall publish notice once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the voter was last registered.

If the voter fails to respond within 30 days of the publication of the newspaper ad, the supervisor shall make a final determination of the voter’s eligibility.

If the supervisor determines the voter is ineligible, the supervisor shall:

  1. remove the voter’s name from the statewide voter registration system, and
  2. notify the voter of the determination and action.

For More Information…

For more information on the restoration of civil rights, please visit the Florida Commission of Offender Review’s website at https://fcor.state.fl.us.

If you have been convicted of a felony, have completed your sentence, paid full restitution and have no other criminal charges pending, you may visit https://flrestoremyrights.com to see if your rights have been restored.