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General News    H3'ed 5/26/20

Federal Judge Guts Florida Law that Linked Former Felon Voting Rights to Criminal Justice Debt

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A federal judge Sunday ruled that a Florida law pegging former felon voting rights to criminal justice debt violates the 24th Amendment, which prohibits poll taxes.

The law -- SB 7066 -- was written by the Republican-controlled state legislature and signed by the GOP governor about six months after voters overwhelmingly voted to change the state constitution to let returning citizens register to vote after they complete all terms of their sentence, including parole and probation.

Republicans in Tallahassee contended the law was needed to clarify the meaning of the change to the state constitution, which was called Amendment 4.

The state is expected to appeal the decision, which can affect the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of returning citizens in Florida.  Donald Trump won Florida in 2016 by about 100,000 votes.

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Steve Schneider lives in Florida. He writes articles for Humor Times, Democracy Chronicles, The Satirist and OpEd News.

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