When Floridians overwhelmingly voted in favor of restoring felon’s rights during the 2018 mid-term elections, Florida Democrats thought Amendment 4 was the key to future election wins, and assuming that the majority of felons being granted their right to vote would cast their vote for candidates on their side of the aisle.
Not so fast.
According to a bill Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law this year, felons are able to vote, but must first pay their legal obligations and/or any monies they owe that stem from their respective cases, sentences.
This move by DeSantis has outraged Democrats, who have been calling the governor’s decision to sign the bill into law as being an act of racism and voter suppression.
DeSantis was once again the target of Democrats, as the voting rights amendment was once again taken up for discussion force felons to pay their legal obligations.
Florida’s Democratic Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried, who many believe will challenge DeSantis in 2022, has been leading the charge against DeSantis’ decision to, saying,” The people voted to restore voting rights to 1.4 million of their fellow citizens who had been disenfranchised in Florida. We must keep fighting efforts to silence their voices.”
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) also took aim at DeSantis, tweeting that the governor was “blatantly putting personal politics over democratic by refusing to restore voting rights,” adding that his “inaction” was nothing more than him “suppressing minority votes.”
Rep. Wasserman Schultz tweet was in response to the Florida Democratic Party tweet on the issue, which questioned why DeSantis didn’t follow the lead of former Republican governors Jeb Bush, Rick Scott, and Charlie Crist, who all restored the voting rights of felons.
Wasserman Schultz and Florida Democrats want DeSantis to follow the lead of his past Republican predecessors, even though they know that Desantis has been in office less than a year, whereas both Scott and Bush spent 8 years in office, while Crist spent 4 years on office.
The Americans for Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have already filed a lawsuit against DeSantis citing racial motivations for signing the bill.
.@RonDeSantisFL is blatantly putting personal politics over democracy by refusing to restore voting rights. It is up to the citizens to call out his inaction for what it is: suppressing minority voices. #LetUsVoteFL https://t.co/ShslBpq1jZ
— Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) December 13, 2019