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Florida lawmakers tabled a bill Tuesday is expected to limit the number of former criminals vote in part, requiring former criminals to pay all court fees and fines before they can register.
Critics say the measure is hardest for lower-income Floridaers and is designed to counter the will of voters who adopted a constitutional amendment last year that restored the vote of some criminals who have completed their sentences , without mentioning fines and fees. Representative Alexandra Occasio-Cortez, DN.Y., writes in Twitter that the measure is a "search charge by any other name."
"What are the barriers proposed in this bill is almost a guarantee that people will miss elections after the election … because they can not afford to pay financial obligations," says Julie Ebenstein, a lawyer with the right to vote in the American Union "In 1966, 65 percent of the Florida people voted to approve the amendment to the constitution of the state, Amendment 4, which restored the right to vote of some former criminals" after they had finished all conditions of the award you are. Those who have been convicted of "murder or sexual offenses" do not qualify for reimbursement.
The constitutional amendment, which entered into force in 2019, stated that the voting rights would be restored to eligible floods – approximately 1.5 million. Many of them registered to vote in the months thereafter. However, there was confusion in terms of enforcement, such as what qualifies as a "sexual offense." The Republican governor, in encouraging Republican governor Ron Desantis, has decided to write legislation on how the state will implement the change.
A Republican-controlled committee on Tuesday adopted a measure that would require criminals to pay back. all court fees and fines – even if they slowly pay these costs back into a payment plan approved by the court, for example – before they can register to vote.
Ebenstein said the bill "undermines" the will of the voters in Florida, which she said could not consider the method of the legislator to apply the amendment to the vote.
"Keeping voters who can not afford to pay their fees immediately by holding them free for more years, decades, or for the rest of their lives is not what voters have accepted this amendment, "she said.
The Republican President of Florida State Treasury Subcommittee, rep. James JW Grant has denied advocates' suggestions that the bill is politically motivated and rejects the idea that it is a fee for a survey, according to Associated Press. Grant has not returned a request for comment from NBC News.
Republican state-controlled governmental authorities across the country have been in danger in the months after the mid-term elections for what critics call attempts to change or cancel electoral results when either Democrats or winning causes of progressive triumphs . In Michigan and Wisconsin, MEPs are seeking to limit the powers of the new Democratic rulers. In Missouri, Republican lawmakers say they are considering reconsidering ethical measures approved by voters.
In Florida, the supporters of Amendment 4 were concerned that Republicans, some of whom opposed the reinstatement of voters' rights, to legislate on how the new
Ebenstein said that the element of the financial obligation of the bill on Tuesday, concerns two groups: low-income criminals who can not afford to pay the fees, and those who have committed
Even if the court waives the payment of charges for a former criminal, the bill will require g (19659007) "to register this person, adding a particularly unusual barrier to the process, Ebenstein added." I never see such a thing in my practice
The measure also qualifies killing any kind of sex component as a disqualifying "sexual offense." This also includes crimes such as that an adult entertainment store is too close to school, as well as
"What they have done is the widest possible definition to exclude the maximum number of people from restoring their rights, "Ebenstein told NBC News. DESMOND MEED, a former villain, the initiative to table Amendment 4 in the vote and approved in November, said he and his group, the Florida Red Cross Coalition, opposed the measure as it places barriers on former criminals, who want to vote. this bill must be made to provide bipartisan support before moving to the next committee, "Meade said in a statement. "After all, Amendment 4 was accepted with broad support from people from across the country and from all walks of life. Any proposed legislation must neither restrict the rights created by amendment 4 nor violate the will of voters in Florida. "
In the same way, in the previous Florida pardon for the re-establishment of the voting rights of criminals, individuals are not required to complete the repayment of these financial obligations in order to recover those rights. This bill represents an additional limitation on voting rights, the statement said.
Amendment 4 aims to put an end to the tough Florida pardon, in which the vote of the Governor of Florida can be restored. The applicants had to wait five to seven years depending on their crime before applying and the hearing of the board took extra time. Many former criminals had to personally appear in person to present their case personally to the governor and the other members of the Councils for Counteraction to Mercy.