Last year, Floridians overwhelmingly voted to restore voting rights for many ex-felons (except for the most violent offenders) after they had served their time, including probation. Amendment 4 passed with 65 percent of the vote but now Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature is trying to prevent the measure from going into effect as intended.
NBC News reported this week that, Florida’s House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, “passed a measure that would require felons to pay back all court fees and fines — even if they are slowly paying those costs back in a court-approved payment plan, for instance — before they can register to vote.” The proposal would directly undermine the will of Floridian voters and create, in essence, a modern-day reimagined poll tax to disenfranchise the very people that were supposed to get their vote back. That’s wrong.
The people have spoken and Florida’s legislature should abide by the wishes of the electorate, rather than seeking underhanded means to ignore their will.
Electoral reform has been a priority issue for Stand Up Republic since our founding. We believe strongly in making it easier for Americans to register and exercise their right to vote. –Read more about our Electoral Reform Agenda here.— There are many reforms that need to be made at the state and national level to make our democracy healthier and stronger. If Florida’s voters want to restore voting rights to former felons who have paid their debt to society, the legislature shouldn’t stand in the way of that.