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The Republican War On Democracy, Florida Edition


Making America Great Again with that old-timey Jim Crow favorite, the poll tax:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law on Friday denying the right to vote to anyone with a past felony conviction who owes money to the state. Critics call it a modern-day poll tax, and the ACLU immediately filed suit against the law after DeSantis signed it.

The move effectively counteracts a ballot initiative approved by 64 percent of Florida voters in November. That initiative restored voting rights to previously incarcerated individuals who had completed probation and parole, except those convicted of murder or a sexual offense. Amendment 4, as the measure was known, was set to restore voting rights to up to 1.4 million people, but the new law could disenfranchise half a million Floridians who still owe restitution and other fees, which often total tens of thousands of dollars.  

For years, Florida was one of only a handful of states that barred ex-felons from voting unless their rights were restored by the governor. Now DeSantis, who won his governor’s race by 30,000 votes in November, and Florida Republicans appear to be gutting the amendment for partisan advantage.

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