Florida can block people with felonies from voting until they repay all money ordered as part of their sentence, a federal appeals court said Friday. State does not have to tell them how much they owe, even though it can be impossible to figure out https://t.co/Q2HQnbkV4p
— Sam Levine (@srl) September 11, 2020
Per the Washington Post:
… The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta agreed with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) that the payment of fines and fees by ex-felons is part of their “terms of sentence” and must be satisfied before they can vote.
The decision comes less than a month before the presidential swing state’s Oct. 5 deadline to register to vote for November’s general election.
“This is a deeply disappointing decision,” said Paul Smith, vice president at the Campaign Legal Center, one of the groups that had sued over the rule. “Nobody should ever be denied their constitutional rights because they can’t afford to pay fines and fees.”
The groups that filed suit say they are still deciding whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Earlier this summer, the high court declined to overturn a lower-court decision that also went against felons seeking to register…
The decision in the populous swing state could have implications for the presidential election. In 2016, Donald Trump won Florida by about 1.3 percentage points, or fewer than 120,000 votes, and a recent NBC-Marist poll found that Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden are neck-and-neck in the state, each at 48 percent…
The amendment affected an estimated 1.4 million adults in the state. Thousands began registering to vote beginning Jan. 8, 2019, the first day they were eligible to under the amendment. But six months later, DeSantis signed into law an extra requirement that all fines and fees owed by felons, such as restitution to victims, must be paid in full before they could register…
Of course it’s a poll tax in all but name, and therefore illegal, but that’s par for the Republican course, especially in an election year.
Short term, it would seem the best remedy would be donating to those groups working to pay off the fines and get these folks registered in the next few weeks. Any Florida residents and/or legal experts want to weigh in about this?
This is a bad decision about a worse policy. If you wish, you can help with a charitable donation to help Floridians pay off their fines and fees and regain the ability to vote, at https://t.co/buYwzeZVYS. https://t.co/6JzaR3q1HC
— Jamal Greene (@jamalgreene) September 11, 2020