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Fri Oct 18, 2019, 04:26 PM

Big victory for voting rights: Federal court blocks Florida Republicans' modern-day poll tax

Source: Daily Kos

In a major victory for voting rights, a federal district court has issued a preliminary injunction blocking most of Florida Republicans' modern-day poll tax that they passed earlier this year. That measure sought to deny voting rights to citizens with felony convictions after voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2018 to end lifetime disenfranchisement. Even for citizens who had served out all prison, parole, or probation sentences, the GOP's poll tax denied them the right to vote if they still owed any court-related fines or fees, costs that are often used in a predatory fashion to fund the court system itself.

The court didn't block the entire law, and the case is still proceeding, but the judge hearing the case did order election officials not to take any action to prevent those affected from registering to vote "based only on failure to pay a financial obligation that the plaintiff asserts the plaintiff is genuinely unable to pay." Previous research estimated that the GOP's poll tax could disenfranchise up to 1.1 million of the up to 1.4 million citizens who were supposed to regain their voting rights after 2018. This ruling could thus restore the rights of many such citizens if it remains in effect.

Read more: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/10/18/1893478/-Big-victory-for-voting-rights-Federal-court-blocks-Florida-Republicans-modern-day-poll-tax

13 replies, 1525 views

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Reply Big victory for voting rights: Federal court blocks Florida Republicans' modern-day poll tax (Original post)
Gothmog Oct 18 OP
Gothmog Oct 18 #1
babylonsister Oct 18 #2
Kurt V. Oct 18 #3
Gothmog Oct 18 #4
Scurrilous Oct 19 #5
Post removed Oct 19 #6
uppityperson Oct 20 #10
GP6971 Oct 20 #11
GulfCoast66 Oct 19 #7
Gothmog Oct 19 #8
GulfCoast66 Oct 19 #9
Gothmog Oct 20 #13
Gothmog Oct 20 #12

Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 04:27 PM

1. Breaking: federal court issues preliminary injunction blocking Florida's modern day poll tax

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 04:28 PM

2. That's a BFD for Florida imo. Lots more people voting! nt

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 04:37 PM

3. Great news!

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 04:39 PM

4. Florida Can't Block Former Felons From Voting Because They Owe Money: Judge

This is great news https://www.huffpost.com/entry/florida-felon-voting-rights-amendment_n_5daa2b1ae4b0f34e3a758b7a?gkf4=

Florida election officials canít block a group of nearly 20 people with felony convictions from registering to vote if they canít afford to repay their financial obligations, a federal judge in Florida ruled on Friday.

The ruling, a preliminary injunction, is a victory for voting rights groups that sued the state over a new law that required people with felony convictions to repay financial obligations before they could vote again.

The law came after Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in November 2018 to repeal the stateís lifetime voting ban for people with felony convictions. Critics said the Florida law, passed in May, was an effort to undermine that change and effectively imposed a poll tax on people who couldnít pay.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle wrote in his ruling that neither the Florida secretary of state nor local election officials could block the plaintiffs in the case from registering to vote ďbased only on failure to pay a financial obligation that the plaintiff asserts the plaintiff is genuinely unable to pay.Ē

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 08:47 PM

5. ...

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)


Response to Post removed (Reply #6)

Sun Oct 20, 2019, 12:08 AM

10. Huh

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Response to Post removed (Reply #6)

Sun Oct 20, 2019, 12:26 AM

11. Did you forget to say

this is meant as sarcasm?

Welcome to DU.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 09:42 PM

7. Saw this coming a mile away. Our local PBS station ran an in-depth article on it.

If there were uniform and reliable rules to issue and track these payments then the law would have stood.

But every county is different and many of the smaller ones are slapdash in their record keeping.

Plus fines are often added by the county after the felon gets on their feet and can afford to pay Administrative costs. But again, there is no uniform method for doing so.

Many felons canít even find out if they owe anything and how much.

Bottom line, the issuing, record keeping and collection of these fines are totally arbitrary. Iím not a lawyer but play one on DU. And my limited knowledge is another reason to support local public radio.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #7)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 10:04 PM

8. Poll taxes are illegal

This is the only possible ruling

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #8)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 10:13 PM

9. Actually, that's not clear. Not legally.

If the amendment stated clearly that all fines and restitution must be paid it would be a legal part of Florida constitutional law. I personally agree that wealth should never be a factor in voting. Personally I think using felony conviction as a reason to bar voting is implicitly unconstitutional. Because they have always been implemented to restrict the voting pool. But courts have ruled differently.

And if those were not totally arbitrary then it might stick in the courts.

But since none of that is true and fines and administrative cost are arbitrary it becomes a poll tax.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #7)

Sun Oct 20, 2019, 12:45 PM

13. This makes me smile

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Sun Oct 20, 2019, 12:45 PM

12. This makes me smile

I also like the shirt

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