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Voters calling their ballots at the Miami-Dade Government Center in Florida. Photo: G. De Cardenas/Getty Images

Florida voters will decide in November whether to restore the right to vote to an estimated 1.5 million convicted felons who are currently prohibited from voting, organizers behind the ballot measure said on Tuesday.

Why it matters: If passed (with at least 60% approval) it has the potential to dramatically shift the makeup of the country’s largest swing state, which plays a deciding role in presidential elections.

Democrats could benefit because the prohibition disproportionately affects African-Americans, a group that overwhelmingly votes Democratic. And in Florida more than one in five African-Americans are affected, according to Sentencing Project.

How it happened: Voting rights activists gathered more than the required 766,200 valid signatures to get the proposal, according to the state’s elections website, which will appear as "Amendment 4" on the ballot. Under the proposal, the voting rights of people convicted of murder or sex crimes would not be restored.

Florida is one of only four states whose constitutions prohibit ex-felons from voting, along with Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia. Virginia's immediate past Gov. Terry McAuliffe has restored voting rights to 168,000 ex-felons on a case-by-case basis, per the Washington Post.

Go deeper

Trump can't quit mainstream media

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa are interviewed by Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" in September. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC via Getty Images

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa issued a rebuttal on Friday to a statement by former President Donald Trump that misrepresented their reporting — and once again showed the 45th president's thin skin about mainstream media.

Driving the news: "Former President Trump said ... our book, 'Peril,' implied that he was planning to go to war with China," the statement begins. "[W]e report that Chairman of Joint Chiefs Mark Milley 'believed that Trump did not want a war' before or after the 2020 election."

NY declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron COVID variant

Governor Kathy Hochul makes an announcement about a new plan transforming Penn Station on Nov. 3, 2021. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday declared a state of emergency amid rising COVID-19 cases and the newly-identified Omicron variant of the virus.

Driving the news: The declaration enables the state to acquire supplies to fight a potential surge in cases, increase hospital capacity and combat potential staff shortages, NBC's local affiliate reports.

4 hours ago - Health

First cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant discovered in U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Two cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant were detected in the United Kingdom overnight, the U.K. Health Security Agency announced Saturday.

Why it matters: The discovery comes as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.