TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that Florida law can’t stop felons from voting because they can’t pay back any legal fees, court costs and restitution.
In a 125-page ruling released Sunday night, U. S. District Judge Robert Hinkle called the law passed last year by the Florida Legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis a “pay-to-vote system."
Florida voters approved Amendment 4 giving felons the right to vote in 2018.
An American Civil Liberties Union lawyer called the ruling a “tremendous victory for voting rights."
The judge’s decision could have deep ramifications. Florida’s estimated 774,000 disenfranchised felons represent a significant bloc in a state well known for razor-thin election margins.