Appeals Court Leaves in Place Florida’s Pay-to-Vote Scheme

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ATLANTA, GA – Today, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the state of Florida can condition voting rights on an individual’s ability to pay, reversing a lower court decision and prohibiting otherwise eligible citizens who owe fines and fees associated with a past felony conviction from voting this fall.

“This is a deeply disappointing decision,” said Paul Smith, vice president at CLC. “While the full rights restoration envisioned by Amendment 4 has become less likely to be realized this fall, we will continue this fight for all Florida voters, so the full benefits of Amendment 4 will someday be realized. Florida’s voters spoke loud and clear when nearly two-thirds of them supported rights restoration at the ballot box in 2018. Nobody should ever be denied their constitutional rights because they can’t afford to pay fines and fees.”

Florida’s General Election voter registration deadline is October 5 and early voting begins on October 19.