Last fall, voters overwhelmingly passed a referendum giving the vote back to returning citizens who had completed their sentence. Now the Legislature is trying to block it. The Nation has published a comprehensive recap of how voters and being denied, quoting both League President Patricia Brigham and First Vice President Cecile Scoon. Read the full story here.
DeSantis has given conflicting indications about whether he will sign the bill, though in early May he publicly promised to do so. The League of Women Voters and other voter-registration groups have, however, already noted a chilling effect.
“I got a phone call just the other day,” recalled Panama City–based civil-rights attorney Cecile Scoon, who serves as the Florida League of Women Voters’ action chair for Amendment 4. “They were fearful of registering to vote because of the new [bill]. Many league members are getting these comments when we’re out there trying to register people.”
“Our legislators are elected officials, and they are thwarting the will of voters,” argued Patricia Brigham, the Orlando-based president of the Florida League of Women Voters. “This is not what the voters approved. At the 11th hour, in a nighttime session, legislators pushed this bill through. This is not how a transparent government behaves. They’ve created this messy, sticky situation there is no need for. This is voter suppression, plain and simple. These are poll taxes.”