TAMPA, Fla (FOX 13) - Governor-elect Ron DeSantis wants to put Amendment 4 on hold, for now.
The amendment, which passed with nearly 65 percent of the vote in November, restores voting rights to over 1 million felons who have served their time. The measure is set to go into effect Jan. 8.
While traveling around the state on his 'Thank You' tour, DeSantis told the Palm Beach Post that the legislature should pass "implementing language" and put a bill on his desk to sign before things move any further.
Clarification is just one of the reasons that the governor-elect is pushing for a delay, Craig Patrick, FOX 13’s political editor, says there might be another reason.
“He's also concerned about the fact that you have 67 different election operations across the state and he wants to make sure there's uniformity," Patrick explained.
The state legislature is not scheduled to reconvene until March, two months after the amendment’s scheduled implementation and the same month as Tampa’s mayoral election.
"If you wait until the legislature goes back to work in March, there's not going to be enough time for people in the city of Tampa who may have had their rights restored through Amendment 4 to have them restored in time for that election," said Patrick.
Supporters of Amendment 4 say the governor-elect is dragging his feet. Among those supporters is DeSantis’ former opponent, Andrew Gillum.
“The role of the governor is to faithfully execute the laws, including Amendment 4 on January 8th - and not one day later,” Gillum wrote on Twitter. “Justice delayed is justice denied."
The ACLU of Florida, a main proponent of the amendment, released the following statement the week:
“After many years of failure by our state’s leaders to provide a common-sense solution to ending the disenfranchisement of so many of our friends, family members, neighbors and colleagues, Florida voters passed Amendment 4, a clear expression that Floridians overwhelming believe that when a debt is paid, it’s paid.”