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Juan Cartagena Statement on David Ayala

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Juan Cartagena Statement on David Ayala

Location: 
Orlando, FL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 7, 2018
CONTACT: Elianne Ramos, eramos@latinojustice.org, 212-739-7513

Below is a statement from Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

David Ayala, Community Organizer for LatinoJustice PRLDEF in our Southeast Regional Office in Orlando, mistakenly thought he was eligible to vote over five years ago because his felony convictions originated outside of Florida. He then learned that Florida law did not extend the doctrine of full faith and credit to criminal convictions from other states and disqualified all potential voters from voting regardless of the origin of their felony convictions.
 
Restoring the right to vote to persons with prior felony convictions is an essential element of our voting rights platform at LatinoJustice PRLDEF. In the multiple states where we have engaged in litigation and advocacy on this matter, we run across numerous examples of confusing election law policies and, at times, misinformation. After completing their sentences, many people who are eligible to vote assume erroneously that they cannot register.

Others assume that the less restrictive voting laws from certain states equally apply in other states. In this context, long before Mr. Ayala was an advocate for restoring the vote, he misunderstood Florida law. Today, he acknowledged his mistake.
 
Unfortunately, David is not alone in his experience. As the details of this case come to light, we reiterate our commitment to the truth and to justice and continue our work with the coalition supporting Amendment 4 to advance workshops for the formerly incarcerated who also may not know or misunderstand if they eligible to have their rights restored. In light of all the excellent work David and others in our organization have done to promote the principles of restoration, redemption and second-chances, we stand with David Ayala and look forward to a new landscape in Florida where voting rights are expanded in furtherance of democracy.

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About LatinoJustice PRLDEF

LatinoJustice PRLDEF works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable and accessible justice, by empowering our community and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education.. For more information about LatinoJustice, visit www.latinojustice.org.