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Florida Lawmakers Must Ensure Voting Rights for All State Residents, Including Formerly-Incarcerated

March 20, 2019

Washington, DC —After the Florida House Criminal Justice Subcommittee took steps on Tuesday to limit the impact of Amendment 4, a state-level constitutional amendment to restore voting rights to formerly-incarcerated people, Page Gardner, founder and president of the Voter Participation Center, released the following statement:

“Florida voters sent a clear statement just months ago by passing Amendment 4—that people who have served their time and paid their debt to society should be able to participate in our democracy by voting.

“It’s shameful that some Florida lawmakers would seek to undermine Amendment 4 by forcing formerly-incarcerated people to pay all court fees and costs before becoming eligible to vote. The right to vote should never be given or taken based on a person’s wealth or ability to pay a fee. We saw these same tactics used to discriminate against black people during the civil rights era in the form of poll taxes.

“Why are Republicans in Florida and across the county so afraid of people voting? These politicians are determined to take the right to vote away from some citizens—and make it harder for others—because they know their punitive policies are not supported by the majority of Americans.”

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