Regaining the right to vote by non-violent people who paid their debt to society and emerged from prison has long been a challenge in Florida.
It was hoped change had occurred when state voters passed Amendment #4 in November of 2018, restoring voting rights to what were described as “returning citizens.”
However the Republican Governor and Attorney General in concert with the Republican dominated state legislature enacted additional financial requirements to the amendment, amounting to what some described as “poll taxes.”
Currently returning citizens who have competed the terms of their sentences, including parole and probation, but still owe fines and fees are prevented from voting because of SB 7066, approved by the Republican-controlled state legislature and Republican governor.
Returning Citizens granted the right to vote by the state clemency board are eligible to register to vote, as are those who have completed parole and probation and paid all fines and fees.
Registration can be completed at RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov
After lengthy wrangling in court a U.S. District Judge has ruled the State must notify returning citizens whether they are eligible to vote and if they have any remaining fees. The order also requires the state to allow them to vote if they are not supplied this information in 21 days, adding that no one will face perjury charges for registering and voting through this process.
Sumter County State Committeeman Bob Berg has added his support to those who hope the Governor and state legislature will implement the Judge’s order without appeal and end their campaign of voter suppression.
Berg says this will not add large numbers of voters to the rolls in Sumter County, adding that returning citizens who want assistance may contact the Democratic Party Headquarters at 352-794-1351 or email@example.com.