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New Change In Florida State Law Allows Felons To Vote; Amazon's New "HQ2" in New York Stirs Debate; Thursday Will Have President's Address Discussion; Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas


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CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: In a U.S. state known for known for razor thin voting margins, more than 1 million people just became eligible to vote. A down the middle explanation of that is what's first today on CNN 10. I'm Carl Azuz, welcome to the show. A new state law just took effect in

Florida that will restore voting rights to people who've been convicted of felonies, serious crimes. Until this week, Florida was one of four states where convicted felons were never allowed to vote again.

But in last November's mid-term elections, almost 65 percent of Florida's voters decided to change that giving the right to vote back to about 1.4

million former offenders. People convicted of murder or certain types of assault are still not allowed to vote. For those who are, the law requires them to have completed all the terms of their criminal sentences. There's been some confusion about that. For one thing, it's up to the former offenders themselves to determine whether they've completed their terms.

But what about any fines they've been ordered to pay? An election supervisor says, the law isn't clear about how that should be handled. The

American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, a civil rights group, led the effort to get the law passed. It calls the change a non-partisan issue but the law has some critics on both sides of the political aisle. Some say convicted felons should first prove they can live a life free of crime before they're allowed to vote. Others have said that all former offenders should be allowed to vote even if they've committed crimes like murder.

This law's getting a lot of attention specifically because it's taking effect in Florida. Politically it's considered a swing state. One that could choose either a Democrat or a Republican. And because it's a state with a high number of electoral votes, political analysts are trying to figure out how this could effect Florida's influence on future elections.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New voters. In the state already infamous for razor thin margin elections and nail biting recounts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are the swingiest of swing states.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Political science Professor Charles Zelden says, Amendment Four has the potential to dramatically alter Florida's political landscape.

PROFESSOR CHARLES ZELDEN: Doesn't matter what party they're in because this potentially changes the political dynamic across the state, in very county, in every voting district.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But that no one knows for sure, what's such a massive potential increase to the voter rolls in such a short amount of time will mean for the political establishment. And that's why Zelden says, politicians are rattled.


CARL AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. What is the most valuable company on the planet? Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, or Apple. Worth an estimated $810

billion, Amazon recently passed Microsoft as the world's most valuable company.

At one point last year, Amazon was even more valuable. It passed the $1 trillion mark but like other technology companies it's fallen from that peak with dips in the stock market since then. Still, it's huge. It's founder who owns 16 percent of the company remains the wealthiest person on earth. Amazon says that New York City, one of the places where it plans to build a second headquarters, will see 25,000 new jobs over the next decade.

But Amazon will hire people from all five boroughs of New York City and that their positions will receive an average salary of $150,000 a year.

But despite all this and a print ad in some New York newspapers that read, Happy New Year from your future neighbors at Amazon. It's plans have met with protests as some of those new neighbors don't want the company to come at all. One big reason for that is because they're state is using their tax dollars to pay Amazon to set up shop there. Another reason, the expected side effects of a new Amazon headquarters in NYC.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the usually sober confines of New York City Hall, New Yorkers are demanding answers. Barely a month since Amazon announced half of it's second headquarters would move to the city, opposition to the plan is growing and at the center of it, New York City Council member Jimmy

Van Bramer. A few days before the hearing Van Bramer showed me around the Queens Bridge Houses, the largest public housing development in the U.S.

It's less than a mile from the proposed Amazon site.

JAMES VAN BRAMER: We all should be concerned with the level of unemployment that exists here in Queens Bridge. The level of poverty, the medium income is $15,000.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is it not a good thing then that Amazon wants to bring all these high paying jobs to - - to boost the area?

VAN BRAMER: Well particularly because there are no guarantees that anyone here in Queens Bridge are going to have access to those jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New York is following a long established playbook when it comes to attracting big companies offering Amazon up to $3 billion in grants and incentives to develop this waterfront area. They say in return for 25,000 high paying new jobs and up to $30 billion in new tax revenue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The revenue to incentive ratio, that is the highest rate of return for an economic incentive program that we - - the state has ever offered.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no idea what we're getting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And yet Amazon's decision has ignited a debate here that goes well beyond the rate of return. Some experts question whether the incentives were necessary at all.

VAN BRAMER: The fact that Amazon had a bid worth $9.7 billion from Pittsburgh, an $8.5 billion from Maryland and didn't go to any of those places speaks volumes about the fact that incentives are almost always irrelevant.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amazon has promised to invest $5 million in work base development in Long Island City including holding hiring events at Queens

Bridge. For Van Bramer, this is now bigger than Amazon.

VAN BRAMER: This is a wake up call. This is an opportunity. An inflection point for us as a society to be thinking about how we do economic development.


CARL AZUZ: Last night, U.S. President Donald Trump was scheduled to make a primetime address to America. It was set to be his first address from the

Oval Office, part of the White House's West Wing and the main subjects were expected to center on the issue of immigration and the campaign promise

President Trump to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Afterward, a response was planned from two prominent Democratic lawmakers, House Speaker

Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer who've publicly opposed the Trump Administration's plans for the wall.

We'll have coverage of these events in tomorrow's show as the president spends part of his Thursday traveling to America's southern border. This is all taking place as the partial U.S. government shutdown extends into a third week and it's all related. The money to build the wall is a key part of the bigger Federal funding agreement that would end the partial shutdown. So we'll covering all of these topics as part of our objective coverage of U.S. political events.

Not all of the concepts introduced at the Consumer Electronic Show, a massive trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada, live up to their hype. 3D TV's got a lot of attention years ago and more recently curved TVs and ones with flexible screens but those don't always make it to American living rooms.

Still, if you're straining your eyes to see with the screens of the future could look like there are few better places to start.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These prototypes from LG Display give us a sense of what televisions might be like in the future or maybe even the near future.

You see these vibrant colors. Don't get fixated on that. This is all about the potential of mobility. Taking a screen from your home office and because it's so light just being able to take it to your kitchen, your bedroom, wherever. The power, the data, everything the screen needs to function coming through one single USBC cable. It's cool but is it necessary? Only the future consumer can decide that.

This screen is 88 inches. The speaker is also 88 inches. That's because the screen literally is the speaker and what that technology allows this screen to do is move the sound 100 percent in sync with the image. So you may not be able to hear this at home but as these UFOs go up and down, I can hear the sound moving up and down. What about a transparent television? This OLED (ph) technology means that each pixel is creating it's own light. Strong enough to make this commercial concept but what if one day this were your bedroom window?


CARL AZUZ: Of course, those who remember CRTs could find this new "techcathotic". There's always a ray of interest in the future of the tube. And if your New Year's resolution is to keep your antenna tuned for the very high definition of what's at the 4K front. You're sure to "CES"

something new where a show where electronics is it's middle name. I'm Carl Azuz for CNN 10.

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