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Amendment Four Supporters Cope with New Enabling Law

Tom Flanigan

On Friday, June 28, Governor DeSantis signed into law a bill placing financial restrictions on the restoration of felon voting rights, made possible by last November's passage of Amendment Four.  The League of Women Voters and several other groups are already taking the new enabling  law to court.

Tallahassee Chapter NAACP President Adner Marcelin had this reaction to Friday's bill signing:

“Disappointing, but as we say, elections have consequences,” he remarked at a Saturday seminar on the new law hosted by the League in Tallahassee. “This is just one of the consequences of the election.”

The consequence of the law is that all money matters connected to crimes must be discharged before released felons can register to vote. But the proof they have met that obligation seems elusive at best. Karen Woodall who heads the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy hoped the courts will overturn the law. If not, she said opponents will push for a repeal in next year's Legislative Session.

“Hopefully, the body that doesn’t like lawyers (the Florida Legislature) that creates so much work for lawyers will have their answer from the courts,” she quipped.

In the meanwhile, the drive to register what the League calls "returning citizens" as voters goes on.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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