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DeSantis Announces Plan To Appeal Felon Voting Rights Ruling, Plaintiffs' Attorneys Remain Confident

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a committee meeting
Andrew Harnik

Governor Ron DeSantis says he will challenge a recent court ruling that clears the way for felons to vote before paying fines, fees, and restitution. The appeal will be sent to the 11th judicial circuit in Atlanta. But Brennan Center for Justice attorney Sean Morales-Doyle says he’s confident Sunday’s ruling is firm and won’t change under another court.

“There’s some powerful language in the ruling about just how irrational the state’s decision was in putting this requirement on people," Morales-Doyle said. "I mean the judge doesn’t just say that this was unconstitutional, he says that it doesn’t make any sense at all, that there just no reason for Florida to be doing this.”

Morales-Doyle says the decision to require felons to pay off their financial obligations prior to registering to vote seems to be politically motivated. Some say allowing felons to vote would benefit Democrats. During the trial, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle questioned whether Republicans in the Florida legislature passed the bill to benefit their party.