Florida's fight over felon voting rights playing out at US Supreme Court
A battle over voting rights in Florida is playing out at the U.S. Supreme Court, with the ability of hundreds of thousands of felons to cast ballots in this year’s elections at stake. Attorneys for the state and voting-rights groups filed briefs this week at the Supreme Court as they continue wrangling over a challenge to a 2019 state law requiring felons to pay “legal financial obligations” --- fees, fines, costs and restitution --- to be eligible to vote. Voting-rights groups argue that linking voting rights and finances amounts to an unconstitutional “poll tax.” “Not only has this thrown the election rules into chaos (with nearly one hundred thousand registered voters and three-quarters of a million citizens now uncertain of their eligibility to vote), it has revived the risk --- and attendant chill --- of prosecution for citizens who worry they will guess wrong about how much (if anything) they must pay to vote,” attorneys for the Campaign Legal Center wrote in last week’s Supreme Court filing, which was joined by other organizations that are plaintiffs in the case.
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