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General News    H4'ed 11/9/19

Prosecutors, Public Defenders Work Together So Returning Citizens Can Vote

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Prosecutors in Miami-Dade County are working with public defenders so returning citizens can register to vote.  This so-called "rocket docket" lets criminal-justice officials rearrange some court fines and fees to get around a June law passed by the Florida Legislature. 

The law -- SB 7066 - defines completion of "all terms of a sentence" to include repayment of all fines, fees and restitution ordered by a sentencing judge.  The law was signed in June by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, about six months after 64.55% of Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment ending a lifetime ban on voting for many former felons in the Sunshine State.

About 150,000 returning citizens may benefit from the rocket docket procedure in Miami-Dade County. Statewide, around 1.4 million returning citizens are dealing with this complex set of legal issues as they seek the right to register to vote.

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At www.miamiherald.com
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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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