(Reuters) – Florida’s Republican governor on Friday signed a bill to restore the voting rights for felons who have served their time but he wants them to pay all fines and restitution before casting a ballot, a hurdle that immediately drew a lawsuit from civil rights groups.
Governor Ron DeSantis opposed a ballot measure that Florida voters overwhelmingly approved in November allowing felons to vote after they complete their sentence, with exceptions for those convicted of murder and sexual offenses.
Law - Rights - Felons - Others - Fees
The newly enacted law would limit voting rights to convicted felons who have wealth, disenfranchising many others who cannot pay their fees, civil rights groups said.
“This law will disproportionately impact black Floridians with a felony conviction, who face the intersecting barriers of accessing jobs in a state with long-standing wealth and employment disparities,” Leah Aden, deputy director of litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said in a statement.
Florida - Ballot - Measure - Enfranchisement - Efforts
The Florida ballot measure launched one of the largest enfranchisement efforts in modern U.S. history, with more than 1 million people potentially eligible to regain their right to vote in a state with a population of 21 million.
DeSantis, in a signing statement, said the law “confirms that the amendment does not apply to a felon...
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