Roderick Kemp of Fort Lauderdale had his voting rights restored three months after being featured in an FCIR documentary short, “Unforgiven,” about voter disenfranchisement in Florida.
Kemp was one of an estimated 6.1 million Americans, and 1.7 million Floridians, who are disenfranchised due to felony convictions. Kemp was informed in 2016 that his voting rights had been revoked due to a felony conviction in 1986, when he was 29, for cocaine possession. It’s unclear why the state took 30 years to revoke his rights due to that conviction.
Now that he again has the right to vote, Kemp is advocating for felons who have served their time to have an easier path to regain voting rights in Florida. Last week, the Florida Supreme Court approved language for a ballot initiative would automatically restore the voting rights of felons after they have completed their sentences. On April 22, Kemp addressed the League of Women Voters of Broward County to talk about his experience and the challenges ahead for restoring voting rights for 1.7 million Floridians.