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Politics / Issues
What you need to know about the 2020 elections across the greater Tampa Bay region.

Florida Rights Restoration Coalition’s Desmond Meade Votes

Man holds up "I voted" sticker as crowd follows him.
Matthew Peddie / WMFE
Desmond Meade, the Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, leaves the Amway Center in Orlando after casting his ballot in the 2020 election Saturday.

Desmond Meade voted for in his first presidential election ever on Saturday.

The Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Desmond Meade, cast a ballot at an early voting site at the Amway Center in Orlando Saturday.

It’s the first time Meade has voted in a presidential election.

Meade spearheaded the fight for Amendment 4, which restored the voting rights of people who have served their sentences for felony convictions — and paid off all their fees and fines.

After leading a march through downtown Orlando alongside his wife Sheena Meade and other family members, Meade stepped into the Amway Center to cast his ballot.

“I am fifty three, and this is my very first presidential election I have ever voted in,” said Meade.

“Listen, everybody should experience this and whether you’re an elected official, whether you are part of a state agency, or any just plain old, red-blooded human being, you should want that everybody should participate in deciding how our country is run.”

Meade said he was grateful to the millions of Floridians who approved Amendment 4 in 2018.

In September a federal appeals court ruled that the state can order people with past felony convictions to pay off fines and fees before they can register to vote.

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