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Judge Questions Constitutionality Of 2018 Felon Voting Rights Amendment

During a hearing Thursday, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle asked lawyers to weigh in on whether a 2018 amendment allowing certain felons to vote is constitutional.

The American Civil Liberties Union argues lawmakers violated the constitution when they implemented the amendment. Their bill requires felons to pay back all fines, fees, and restitution before voting. The group claims it’s a poll tax. But lawmakers argue they simply followed the amendment voters passed.

Now Hinkle is questioning if the poll tax was created by the Amendment itself does it make the amendment unconstitutional. He wants both sides to address the issue.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.