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Florida Appeals Court OKs Poll Tax For Florida Felons

Hundreds of thousands of ex-felons were just prevented from voting by a federal appeals court, thus sabotaging the will of the electorate who voted by a supermajority to reinstate felons' rights.

You may recall that a supermajority of Florida voters approved, in 2018, a constitutional amendment restoring voting rights to felons who completed their sentences.

But in the never-ending GOP War on democracy (especially in a state Donald Trump needs to win in November), Florida’s Trumpy Gov. Ron DeSantis and his Republican pals in the legislature passed a law designed to sabotage the will of the voters with the hurdle that felons may not register to vote until they’ve paid all court costs, fines, and fees associated with their sentences.

As USA Today explains, today's ruling upholding the law means that hundreds of thousands of Florida felons who have completed their sentences will be prevented from voting unless they pay all fees and fines owed to the state.

If you think this isn’t a poll tax, think again. USA Today notes that George W. Bush won Florida, and thus the White House, by only 537 votes. And it just so happens that the ruling was written by Chief Judge William Pryor, named to the court by Bush 43, who is now on Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees. What a coincidence!

The good news is that LeBron James’ More Than A Vote initiative has already committed $100,000 to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. Ditto for The Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee as well as attorney John Morgan. (You can donate here.) FRRC says it has already raised close to $3 million but has more than $7 million to go.

Wouldn’t this be a great project for Michael Bloomberg? Not only would it help advance his plans to elect Democrats, it would be a nice way to make reparations for his odious stop-and-frisk policies he has since apologized for. If you agree, you can tweet him @MikeBloomberg with that suggestion.

This is part of our continuing coverage of the 2020 elections.

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