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Federal judge rules against Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay fines to vote

Federal judge rules against Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay fines to vote

by WFTV9 Orlando  |  Published on May 25, 2020

ORLANDO, Fla. — Thousands of convicted felons will be eligible to vote in Florida after a federal court ruled that a law that created wealth-based hurdles to voting is unconstitutional.

The law, SB 7066, required people with past convictions to pay all outstanding legal fees, costs, fines and restitution before regaining their right to vote.

The law undermined Floridians’ 2018 passage of Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to more than a million people who completed the terms of their sentence, including parole or probation.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle found that conditioning voting on payment of legal financial obligations a person is unable to pay violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by discriminating on the basis of wealth.

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