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Amendment 4 Appeal Kicks Off On Election Day

Photo: Elliott Stallion
Photo: Elliott Stallion

The full 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing arguments Tuesday about a 2019 Florida law that restored felons’ voting rights. The plaintiffs argue the law implementing a constitutional amendment doesn’t follow voters’ intent. 

Since the hearing is happening during today’s primary election, that means felons who haven’t paid off their financial obligations won’t be able to cast a ballot.
Voters in 2018 passed a constitutional amendment that restored voting rights to felons upon completion of all terms of their sentence, including parole or probation. The law implemented by the legislature landed the state in court with voting rights groups because it requires felons to pay legal financial obligations associated with their convictions to be eligible to vote. Republican lawmakers said the requirement properly carried out the wording of the constitutional amendment. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled that the 2019 law was unconstitutional, prompting Gov. Ron DeSantis to appeal to the Atlanta-based appeals court.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.