A federal judge in Florida on Sunday declared key portions of the state’s felon voting law unconstitutional in a ruling that could allow hundreds of thousands of new voters being added to the rolls just in time for the 2020 presidential election.
In a 125-page ruling, US District Judge Robert Hinkle, a Clinton appointee, slammed the state’s “pay-to-vote” system which the GOP-controlled Florida Legislature passed nearly a year ago, which ended the state’s lifetime ban on voting for most ex-felons, but requires that they repay legal financial obligations first, according to Politico.
“This pay-to-vote system would be universally decried as unconstitutional but for one thing: each citizen at issue was convicted, at some point in the past, of a felony offense,” wrote Hinkle. “A state may disenfranchise felons and impose conditions on their reenfranchisement. But the conditions must pass constitutional scrutiny.”