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Image: Senator Amy Klobuchar speaks on the Act from inside the Capitol Building, wikipedia.org
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: The Federal For the People Act would be a much-needed check on anti-democracy voting laws


Florida is among several states in the nation whose Republican lawmakers are attempting to retake power by any means possible. The 1965 Voting Rights Act outlawed barriers to voting that were enacted against African Americans. Section 4 required certain areas of the country, which Congress determined had shown “prevalent racial discrimination,” to get approval from the Justice Department before changing voting laws. Fifty-eight years later, a 5-4 Supreme Court struck down that provision and opened the floodgates to a new age of voter discrimination. Across the country, GOP legislators are proposing and passing laws that add pointless but burdensome requirements for mail-in voting, limit the use of ballot dropboxes, and even make it a crime to give water to voters …
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Desmond Meade (r) shows off his voter registration slip outside the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office. Photo: Emily Lang, WMFE
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: More than a year after Amendment 4 was approved, Florida’s returning citizens are unsure of their rights


Amendment 4 was approved in Florida at the end of 2018 by 64 percent of the electorate, restoring the right to vote to more than a million ex-felons. But when our state Legislature passed the bill in May 2019 implementing the ballot measure, they restricted rights restoration to those who had paid off all outstanding restitution, fines and court fees. Now, more than a year after the battle was won and just months away from a pivotal presidential election, Florida’s returning citizens are unsure of their rights. Some counties, like Miami-Dade and Palm Beach, have created so called “rocket dockets” where judges expedite approval of payment, replacing fines with community service when necessary. But in Orange and Osceola counties, returning …
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