Florida Returning Citizens – The 2020 Election and Beyond
Until 2020, anyone convicted of a felony was barred from voting in Florida for life, even after the completion of their sentence and parole. Through the hard work of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (of which the Florida League was a primary partner), a citizen’s initiative and bruising court battles, many were able to vote for the first time in many years.
Our speakers will talk about this process, the results of the 2020 election, and what lies ahead to fully enfranchise Florida citizens.
Our Speakers are Cecile Scoon and Neil Volz
Cecile Scoon is a civil rights lawyer and First Vice President of the League of Women Voters of Florida. She is the chair of the state League’s efforts for the Restoration of Rights, and for Health Care.
Cecile graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1984. She spent five years as an active duty Air Force JAG, prosecuting in military courts-martial. She has practiced law for 36 years. She established statewide training for attorneys to work with felons seeking to restore their voting rights. Each year, the Florida Supreme Court and the Florida Bar honor lawyers, groups, and members of the judiciary who have freely given their time and expertise in ensuring access to justice for those who otherwise could not afford it. One of the awardees this year is Cecile.
Neil Volz is the Deputy Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and a returning citizen whose vote was restored in 2020. Neil’s previous work experience includes 25 years as a public servant and community advocate. These include the Chief of Staff for a Member of Congress and the Staff Director for a full Congressional Committee, as well as the Outreach Director for one of the fastest growing churches in the country and as the Program Director for a leading Non-Profit Organization that serves formerly homeless veterans.
Neil helped negotiate and secure passage for the Help America Vote Act, which has improved voting accessibility and accuracy for millions of people. He is active and chairman of a number of non-profit organizations providing social services.