Opinion: After Amendment 4 Ruling, What’s Next for Ex-Felons’ Voting Rights?

Orlando Sentinel

On Friday afternoon, Judge Robert Hinkle, a federal judge for the Northern District of Florida, issued a landmark decision in the ongoing legal saga about the implementation of Amendment 4 and the voting rights of people with convictions who are saddled with legal criminal debt they cannot afford to pay (“Judge strikes down ex-felon voting law,” Oct. 19). Judge Hinkle ruled that “an otherwise-qualified felon who establishes genuine inability to pay ... cannot be prevented from casting a ballot and having it counted.” The vindication of this crucial constitutional principle — that wealth cannot be a factor in voting — will have an enormous impact.

Read the full opinion here.