After voters voted to restore voting rights to 1.4 million felons who served their time, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a poll tax that will take voting rights away from 1.1 million.
Republicans Bring Back Jim Crow In Florida
According to Daily Kos writer Stephen Wolf:
Floridians voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to restore voting rights for as many as 1.4 million citizens who had fully completed their felony sentences by a 65-35 landslide last year, but on Friday, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a new law that will keep the vast majority of those citizens disenfranchised. Republicans also recently passed another law to stymie similar ballot initiatives in the future that DeSantis has already signed.
To thwart the will of Florida voters, Republicans are imposing a measure straight out of the Jim Crow playbook: poll taxes. This new law would require the payment of all court-ordered restitution as well as any court-related fines or fees before voters can regain their rights.
The Will Of The People Has Been Undone In Florida
The poll tax is a way for Republicans to suppress the non-white vote while undoing the will of the voters. The Supreme Court told America that racism was gone and that Voting Rights Act was no longer needed, but Jim Crow is back in the South. The move by Republicans could allow them to win Florida for years to come by keeping the share of the non-white vote down even as the number of non-white residents of the state continues to rise.
Gerrymandering gets almost all of the attention, but if America wants a return of fair and free elections, the first step is to restore and strengthen the Voting Rights Act. Republicans can’t attract new voters, so they are trying to reshape the electorate through suppressing the non-white/Democratic vote.
Jim Crow is alive and well, as Florida Republicans just sent the message to the state’s voters that their priorities don’t count.
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