More delays in voting rights restoration for formerly incarcerated Floridians

Our Prism

“The district judge’s order, basically setting up the procedure for people to be able to determine how much they owe, to register and vote if they are unable to pay their outstanding legal financial obligations, and declaring the court costs and fees piece a poll tax—all of that is on hold until the 11th Circuit rules,” said Jonathan Diaz, legal counsel for voting rights with the Campaign Legal Center. According to Diaz, as passed by the state legislature and currently enforced, SB 7066 prohibits anyone convicted of a felony from registering to vote and casting a ballot if they have an outstanding legal financial obligation. During the trial earlier this spring, counsel for the plaintiffs were able to demonstrate that the state could not say with certainty how much anyone with a legal financial obligation actually owed, including the 17 plaintiffs to the underlying lawsuit. “If you can't even figure out how much you owe, there's no way to determine whether you're able to pay or whether you have paid enough to have satisfied the state's statute, and are then able to register and vote, so it's frustrating,” said Diaz.

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