Oct 5, 2020
Thirty days out from the 2020 election, America is grappling with the many hurdles before us to casting our vote and being counted in the most important election of our lifetime. COVID19 has made in-person voting possibly life-threatening and voting by mail is being manipulated by a president who is profoundly threatened by this democratic franchise. For many, however, barriers to voting go far deeper. Millions of returning citizens, Americans who have served time and come home, are now barred from the ballot box. In Florida, Desmond Meade, president of the Florida Rights Restoration Project, is building a movement for the restoration of voting rights. He achieved the near-impossible, organizing statewide support for re-enfranchisement, validated by Amendment 4, a statewide ballot initiative. Desmond leads with empathy and love and rejects partisanship and rancor. Desmond knows that this movement’s wins will be resisted, and this is a tension that he embraces. His story is a testament to second chances and to the sanctity of using one’s life with purpose.