Have The Right but No Opportunity
In 2018, Florida voters got a constitutional amendment passed giving voter rights to returning citizens who completed their sentence. A big win… until you cut to today where on Thursday the Republican Supreme Court refused to let Florida returning citizens vote.
Initially after the amendment was passed, BY THE CITIZENS OF FLORIDA with an major majority, the Republican Governor made it so that they weren’t allowed to vote unless they paid a fees, fines and restitutions! These are ex returning citizens who finished their sentence! Many are referring to this as a “voter paywall” or a “poll tax.”
Many are calling this a scheme to keep the poor from voting and honestly it’s hard to refute these claims. Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the unsigned order will, “prevent thousands of otherwise eligible voters from participating in Florida’s primary election simply because they are poor.”
These votes may be crucial to the upcoming election, seeing as around 85,000 returning citizens (who completed their sentence) are registered to vote. 775,000 all together returning citizens who could register to vote, if not already registered who could’ve change the election dramatically. If they weren’t kept from voting!
However, there is a hearing to fight this order on Aug 18th. The date of the state primary! The deadline to register to vote is next Monday! July 20th! They are making it so returning citizens can’t vote.
The state stated that a returning citizen’s inability to pay means the sentence has not been completed; therefore, voting rights should not be restored. What? I know people who aren’t returning citizens that can’t afford to pay extra fees like this due to life and now even more so to the corona-virus impact! They may have the right, but they don’t have the opportunity.
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