Federal court blocks Florida Republicans' modern-day poll tax

Federal court blocks Florida Republicans' modern-day poll tax
Image via Gage Skidmore.

In a major victory for voting rights, a federal district court has issued a preliminary injunction blocking most of Florida Republicans' modern-day poll tax that they passed earlier this year. That measure sought to deny voting rights to citizens with felony convictions after voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2018 to end lifetime disenfranchisement. Even for citizens who had served out all prison, parole, or probation sentences, the GOP's poll tax denied them the right to vote if they still owed any court-related fines or fees, costs that are often used in a predatory fashion to fund the court system itself.


The court didn't block the entire law, and the case is still proceeding, but the judge hearing the case did order election officials not to take any action to prevent those affected from registering to vote "based only on failure to pay a financial obligation that the plaintiff asserts the plaintiff is genuinely unable to pay." Previous research estimated that the GOP's poll tax could disenfranchise as many as 1.1 million of the up to 1.4 million citizens who were supposed to regain their voting rights after 2018. This ruling could thus restore the rights of many such citizens if it remains in effect.

#story_page_ below_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.