Restoring Rights for 10 Percent of Potential Florida Voters

“Across the state, our democracy is being expanded.”

Phelan M. Ebenhack/The Washington Post

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

He did his time. Now, 14 years after being released from prison, Desmond Meade is registered to vote.

Submitting his voter registration form last week, Meade described the moment as “very, very emotional.” And he has himself to thank: Meade led Florida’s successful effort to overturn the felon disenfranchisement law and restore voting rights to most ex-prisoners who had done their time. “Across the state of Florida, our democracy is being expanded. That’s a great thing.” Previously, 10 percent of voter-age Floridians were barred from casting a ballot.

“We don’t care about how a person may vote. What we care about is that they have the ability to vote,” Meade tells Mother Jones‘ Ari Berman. “That is our compass.”

Welcome to Recharge, a weekly newsletter full of stories that will energize your inner hellraiser. Sign up at the bottom of the story.

  • Simply mind-blowing. On Saturday, Katelyn Ohashi catapulted into viral fame after her joyful floor routine at the Collegiate Challenge, a gymnastics event in Anaheim, California. Yet that joy, Ohashi said, came only after the one-time Olympic hopeful turned away from the intense pressure of elite competition. “It’s not the outcome,” Ohashi once said. “It’s not me standing on the podium with medals. It’s me being able to walk out with a smile on my face and truly being happy with myself.” (Washington Post)
  • The Little Tree Library. I’m a big fan of the Little Free Libraries, those wooden, street-side book collections that encourage sharing in a neighborhood. But have you heard of the Little Tree Library of Idaho? Sharalee Armitage Howard and her family carved the library from a massive old tree stump in their front yard and added a roof and lights. Yes, you guessed it—Howard is a librarian. (Colossal)
  • Soaring new heights. After fleeing Syria, Shoushi Bakarian made it to Canada in 2016 and is now enrolled in an aerospace engineering program at Montreal’s Concordia University. And at 21, she’s built her first invention: a ventilation device for Cessna aircrafts. That’s not all. Bakarian leads a young Scout troop, too. “I want to reach girls and tell them they don’t have to limit themselves to traditional jobs, like teachers,” she said. “I want to become an example.” (Globe and Mail)
  • Investing in kids. In 2012, Alabama made a big investment in preschools by increasing funding 47 percent. It’s paying off big time: A recent study showed that third-graders who had gone to preschool scored far higher on state math and reading tests than kids who hadn’t. Despite its educational system’s low rankings, Alabama has some of the most successful preschool programs in the country. (Mother Jones)
  • Bees bouncing back. Hurricanes Maria and Irma killed off about 80 percent of Puerto Rico’s bee population. But beekeepers, armed with new hives and “protein patties,” have been more successful than anticipated at restoring the population—which is now up by 50 percent. The Puerto Rican bees, a gentler variant of African “killer bees,” have high honey yields and are resistant to a parasite that has killed off colonies elsewhere. (Mother Jones)

Have a Recharge story of your own or an idea to make this column better? Fill out the form below or send me a note to me at recharge@motherjones.com.

More Mother Jones reporting on Recharge

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate