A federal district court has ruled to strike down Florida’s law that required convicted felons returning to society to pay court fines and fees before they are allowed to vote. In a statement, Florida Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) praised the District Court’s decision, arguing that “Floridians voted for a stronger democracy when we passed Amendment 4 two years ago, and we’ve continued to make it clear that we will not stand for modern poll taxes.”
She explained that “Sunday, the court recognized that this restrictive and discriminatory voting law does not align with justice or democracy,” adding that “our most fundamental right in a democracy is the right to vote – trying to take away that right is going against our democratic values.”
The Florida lawmaker reaffirmed that “we must work to ensure that every Floridian has access to the ballot because our fundamental right to vote should be denied because of your income.” So, “as we head into election season in the midst of this crisis,” the lawmaker who faces opposition in Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez (R), assured that she is “continuing to advocate for expanded at-home and early voting options so Floridians do not need to choose between their personal health and their right to vote.”
She concluded by calling for the need to “pass the Heroes Act to invest in safe, secure elections.”
In the 2018 midterm election, voters took to the polls and 64% of voters agreed with amending Florida’s constitution to restore the voting rights of U.S. citizens with prior felony convictions after completing the terms of their sentence. Referred to as “Amendment 4,” this affected 5.1 million voters.
With the Heroes Act that was passed by the House, $3.6 billion is provided to ensure Americans have access to the ballot box and for elections to be safely held in November.