World News – US – Timeline: Efforts to Restore Voting Rights for Former Criminals in Florida


Two years ago, more than 64% of voters in Florida passed an amendment to the state constitution that would restore the right to vote to more than 5 million former criminals, however , a majority of people who have served their sentences will still not be able to vote in the 2020 presidential election

After voters approved Amendment 4 in 2018, Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature passed a governor-signed bill stating that criminals must pay all fines, restitution and other financial obligations before that their sentence is considered to be fully served In response, more than a dozen former criminals and voting rights groups have sued Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state arguing that the restriction is another form of voter suppression for predominantly black and poor communities

The problem of the legal battle has still not been resolved on November 3, polling day 2020

The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition has raised $ 27 million to pay fines and fees for more than 40,000 returning citizens statewide by the time of the presidential election More than 90,000 donors have contributed to the fund, including many celebrities The FRRC led the 2018 election initiative to restore the voting rights of ex-criminals

« While I know America is making a very important decision today about who will lead our country, what excites me most is the fact that more Americans will have the opportunity to influence to decide the direction and within that framework, ”said FRRC President Desmond Meade on election night, adding:“ If we have changed the lives of at least one person, it was worth it »

Here is a timeline of Amendment 4 and the ongoing legal battle to restore Floridians’ right to vote:

Where it stands: People who have served their time for non-violent crimes and paid all fines and restitution can register and vote in Florida.However, according to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, these fees can be reduced. amount to tens of thousands of dollars and it is often difficult to determine what someone owes Federal Court Report Says Over 700,000 Florida Ex-Criminals Are Ineligible To Vote Due To Outstanding Fines Such As Court Fees And Restitution

September 2020: The US 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturns lower court ruling, overturning Judge Robert Hinkle’s ruling that gave Florida criminals the right to vote regardless of outstanding financial obligations

July 2020: U-divided Supreme Court upholds US 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling to temporarily bar hundreds of thousands of Florida criminals from voting, making it unlikely that they will be allowed to vote in elections August state primaries

June 2020: The US Atlanta’s 11th Circuit Court of Appeals grants stay on review of a decision by a Tallahassee Federal District Court judge who ordered the state to give the criminals accessing the ballot box under amendment 4

May 2020: District Court Judge Robert Hinkle Says Florida Lawmakers Have Developed ‘Pay-To-Vote’ System, Orders State To Allow Many Florida Criminals To Vote – regardless of unpaid legal debts Gov DeSantis appealed Hinkle’s decision, and the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals in its entirety agreed to hear the governor’s appeal and stay the court’s decision lower

October 2019: Tallahassee Federal District Court judge suspends law for plaintiffs who could not afford to pay unpaid debts He agreed with voter rights advocates that the imposition of the requirement of debt to poor criminals was equivalent to an election tax Florida has filed an appeal to the US 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, challenging the judge’s ruling

June 28, 2019: Gov. Ron DeSantis signs Senate Bill 7066 requiring former criminals to pay all fines and fees before they can vote in Florida On the same day, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Florida, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and NYU Law’s Brennan Center for Justice have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the law arguing that it « creates wealth-based barriers to voting and undermines overwhelming support for Floridians in Amendment 4 ”The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, the group behind Amendment 4, also challenged the provisions in the Florida Supreme Court

March 2019: Florida House Criminal Justice Subcommittee approves a 10v5 bill that defines what it means to serve a criminal sentence, including payment of all civil fines and court costs. House and Senate approved the bill in May, sending it to Ron DeSantis government to sign

Jan 8, 2019: Amendment 4 comes into force and former non-violent offenders can start registering to vote

November 2018: Over 64% of Florida Voters Approve Amendment 4 Prior to the Amendment, the only way for former criminals to restore their voting rights in Florida was to wait at least five years before asking to the Florida Clemency Board to restore their voting rights This change would automatically restore the right to vote for non-violent offenders if they completed their parole and probation periods

Emilee is a digital reporter for News 6 and ClickOrlandocom, where she writes about space and Central Florida news. Previously, Emilee was a space writer and web editor for Orlando Sentinel and producer for the Naples Daily News

LeBron James, Mike Bloomberg, Florida, United States Presidential Election, 2020, Felony

World News – United States – Timeline: Efforts to Restore Voting Rights of former criminals in florida


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