Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Agrees to Sign Bill Blocking Some Ex-Felons From Voting

Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has promised to cripple Amendment 4 by signing Senate Bill 7066, which will require that ex-felons pay all fines and court costs before they will actually be able to vote.

The Florida Democratic Party has called DeSantis the “Jim Crow Governor” for saying he will sign the legislation against the 65 percent of Florida voters who wanted to restore voting eligibility to ex-felons when they completed their sentence in prison, including probation.

Amendment 4 only excluded those convicted of murder or a sexual offense.

Republicans choosing to interpret Amendment 4 in this way keep minorities, who are overrepresented in Florida’s prison system and as felons, boosts prospects of getting more Republicans elected since minorities tend to vote Democratic.

Related Article: Florida Republicans Seek to Suppress Voting Rights for Former Felons

The move is a throwback to the Jim Crow era, when politicians also used legislation that was technically legal but obviously meant to keep minorities, especially freed Black people, from voting. This legislation included poll taxes and felon disenfranchisement.

“The Republican Party of Florida is willing to wear the mantle of passing a modern-day poll tax,” said Juan Penalosa, executive director of the Democratic Party of Florida, to the Palm Beach Post. “Gov. DeSantis is willing to be a Jim Crow governor.”

According to the Palm Beach Post, Penalosa said that the Democratic Party is considering taking legal action.

Even though the majority of Florida voters accepted Amendment 4 as it was written without Senate Bill 7066, Joe Gruters, executive director of the Republican Party of Florida, stated that the addition was the will of Florida’s residents.

“All we did was implement the will of the people. The idea that this is anything other than that is simply not the case,” Gruters told the Palm Beach Post.

But Republicans were not required to interpret the amendment the way they did.

Ex-felons have been struggling to gain voting rights back, particularly under former Governor Rick Scott. A 2018 investigation by The Palm Beach Post found that Scott restored voting rights to a disproportionately low percentage of black felons and restored voting rights to a higher percentage of Republicans and a lower percentage of Democrats than any of his predecessors since 1971.

Latest News

women in politics

Women Remain Vastly Underrepresented in Local Government, Despite Conventional Wisdom Suggesting Otherwise

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sat behind President Biden during his first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28 — representing the first time two women held such important and high-ranking political offices. Even after such a historic moment, the reality…

voter restriction

Florida Follows Georgia’s Lead, Approves Racist Anti-Voter Restrictions Aimed Primarily at Democrats and People of Color

Not content with letting Georgia be the only state in the South demonized for its bigoted and racist attacks on voter rights, Florida has jumped into the fray in issuing its own series of new and highly controversial “Jim Crow-esque” anti-voting restrictions aimed specifically at disenfranchising Democrats and voters of…

Kentucky Derby

Inspired by Protests Over Breonna Taylor’s Death, Humana and Kentucky Derby Festival Launch Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in Louisville

Ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1, Kentucky Derby officials and Humana (No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020) have announced a new equity initiative meant to make the race more accessible and welcoming to everyone, regardless of race, gender, age…

crimes against human ity

‘Crime Against Humanity’; Global Report Says the US Should Be Prosecuted in International Criminal Court for Ongoing Police Murders of Black Americans

In what has been described as a “devastating” report, human rights experts and lawyers have investigated and released a 188-page analysis of the ongoing police brutality and killing of Black Americans in the U.S. Their verdict: the country is guilty of “crimes against humanity” and should be prosecuted for its…

Tokyo, Olympics

Tokyo Olympics to Encourage Significant Increase in Gender Equality Among Event’s Corporate Sponsors

Besides simply being a showcase for some of the most talented and athletic men and women on the planet, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are hoping their event this summer can also help promote significant change in corporate culture, both in Japan and around the globe. Bloomberg’s Ayai Tomisawa…

AbbVie Joins Over 400 Leading US Employers in the Human Rights Campaign’s ‘Business Coalition for the Equality Act’

Originally published on LinkedIn. AbbVie ranked No. 19 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   AbbVie has joined a group of over 400 corporations and leading U.S. employers to support the Human Rights Campaign’s “Business Coalition for the Equality Act,” an initiative advocating for federal…

Accenture and Goodwill Develop Virtual Experience To Help People Impacted by the Criminal Justice System Enter the Workforce

Originally published at prnewswire.com. Accenture is ranked No. 5 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   Goodwill Industries International has teamed with Accenture to develop an innovative virtual experience called Project Overcome. The experience is designed for people impacted by the criminal justice system who want to…