Editorial: The Push to Restore Felons’ Voting Rights

The Waterloo Courier

Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a 2018 referendum restoring voting felons’ rights, but the Republican-controlled Legislature wants to make it moot by adding a restitution provision. The courts will decide. Nearly 40 percent of prisoners released in Florida since 2017 are black. About 10% of Floridians — 25% of African-Americans, had been disenfranchised. Full payment of restitution could be tantamount to the outlawed poll taxes. According to the Campaign Legal Center and Georgetown Law’s Civil Rights Clinic, 10 million people owe $50 billion in fines related to their convictions. A recent national study focused on 14 states found an average of $13,600 owed in court fees and fines. Eight states require full repayment of court fees.

Read the full editorial here.